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J Sports Sci. 1999 Sep;17(9):735-41.

Athletic injury, psychosocial factors and perceptual changes during stress.

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School of Human Movement, Recreation and Performance, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.


In this study, we measured changes in state anxiety, visual perception and reaction time during stress among 196 collegiate athletes participating in 10 sports. The athletes also completed measures of life events and social support at the beginning of their seasons. Measures of life events stress, social support, perceptual changes and changes in reaction time during stress were used as predictors of the number of injuries. For the entire sample, the only significant predictor of injury was negative life events stress (R = 0.45, P < 0.001). Following the suggestions of Smith et al., simple correlations were performed for those with least social support (bottom 33%, n = 65). Among this group, those individuals with more negative life events and greater peripheral narrowing during stress incurred more injuries than those with the opposite profile. Our findings are in line with the model of Andersen and Williams, in that those individuals who were low in a variable that buffers stress responsivity (i.e. social support), their negative life events and peripheral narrowing under stress (large and medium effect sizes, respectively) were substantially related to their number of injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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