ATHLETES’ PSYCHOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO INJURY: AN ATTACHMENT AND LOSS THEORY PERSPECTIVE
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The study explored athletes‟ responses to injury from an attachment and loss perspective. Participants comprised nine injured athletes (male n=5, female n=4) representing the sports of rugby, hockey, football, tennis, netball, cricket and rowing. Semi-structured interviews were used to explore attachments to sport, perceived losses and emotional responses. Content analysis accounted for three emerging attachments (team and coach, self and sport). The perceived losses that resulted from the loss of attachment were loss of camaraderie, self-identity, physical fitness, routine, confidence, independence and bodily function. Anger, frustration, annoyed, apprehensive, depressed, gutted and demoralised comprised the emotional responses that participants perceived to be associated with the losses reported. The findings highlight the theoretical and practical application of attachment theory and loss within an injury context.
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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