Stressors, social support, and tests of the buffering hypothesis: Effects on psychological responses of injured athletes
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Objective The purpose of this article was to examine the main and stress-buffering effect relationships between social support and psychological responses to injury. Design The article presents two studies, both of which matched social support types with injury stressors. Study 1 used measures of stressors, perception of social support availability, and psychological responses of injured athletes. Study 2 utilized measures of stressors, received social support, and psychological responses of injured athletes. Methods During physiotherapy clinic visits, injured athletes (Study 1, N = 319; Study 2, N = 302) completed measures of stressors, social support, and psychological responses to injury. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and moderated hierarchical regression were used to analyse the data. Results In both studies, CFA suggested adequate model fit for measures of social support and psychological responses to injury. Moderated hierarchical regression analyses in Study 1 revealed significant (p < .05) stress-buffering effects for the perception of available esteem support in relation to restlessness, isolation, and feeling cheated, and the perception of emotional support in relation to isolation. In both studies, moderated hierarchical regression analyses revealed significant (p < .05) main effects for esteem, emotional, and tangible support in relation to restlessness, isolation, and feeling cheated. Conclusion The findings of the current studies enhance our understanding of the stress-buffering effects of social support in relation to injury stressors and psychological responses; that is, the relationships between social support, stressors, and psychological responses to sport injury may differ with regard to received or perceived available support. The findings have important implications for the design of social support interventions with injured athletes aimed at alleviating the detrimental effects of injury stressors.
British Journal of Health Psychology;
British Journal of Health Psychology,
- Sport Research Groups 
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