The effects of social support received during injury rehabilitation on team cohesion
Charles, Baylea Marie
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Over the past decade there has been a growing interest in the role of social support in recovery from sport injury (e.g., Ford and Gordon, 1993; Hardy, Crace and Burke, 1999; Johnston and Carroll, 1998; Udry, 1996, 1997). Social support in the sport and exercise setting has focused almost exclusively on the instrumental rather than relational effects of social support. Specifically researchers have virtually ignored the effects of social support on relational outcomes (Bianco and Eklund, 2001). To address this, semi-structured interviews were carried out on participants (n = 6), who had an age range between 18 and 34 years old (mean = 22.5 SD = 5.79), and who had all recovered from a serious sports injury. The interview consisted of six sections to gain an understanding of the types of social support provided by teammates during rehabilitation and its effect on the individual’s perception of team cohesion. Cross case analysis of the data revealed many themes including the social support needs during recovery, the providers of social support during recovery and the impact of social support during recovery on team relationships and cohesion. The conclusion showed that in general the sports people were satisfied with the support received from their team-mates and noted changes in relationships among team members, resulting in changes of the individual’s perception of cohesion as a consequence of the social support given. This paper presents the findings that emerged from this research, which could have implications for future social support research.
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