How athletic identity affects appraisals of sports injury
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this present investigation was to build upon existing athletic identity research in sports psychology by exploring the complications associated with strong and exclusive identification with the athlete role following sports injury. However, relative research has mainly considered this relationship in terms of its affects on emotional responses (e.g. Brewer, 1993; Sparkes, 1998). Furthermore, the appraisal process that may justify athletic identity effect on athletes’ adjustment to injury has yet to be fully examined. Collection of data was accomplished through a series of semi-structured interviews with eight student-athletes (mean age=20.63) who competed in team sports at university level. Athletic identity was determined through the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS; Brewer & Cornelius, 2001), and used in-conjunction with qualitative data. Wiese-Bjornstal, Smith, Shaffer and Morrey’s (1998) theoretical proposition was operated with, in an attempt of adopting a greater understanding of data and the injury response process. Findings clarified that the student-athletes identified exclusively to the athlete role, which influenced appraisal of injury to be threatening to their self-identities and in turn, intensified emotional disruption. These results support the relationship between athletic identity and adjustment difficulties following sports injury; further illustrating the need for intervention to be administered.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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