Stress, attention and sports injury

Bum, Daejin (1998) Stress, attention and sports injury. PhD thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


This thesis investigated part of the Andersen and Williams (1988) model of stress and injury. Three studies were carried out. The first study examined the relationship between life stress and athletic injury. The sample consisted of 320 (234 males, 86 females) competitive contact team sport athletes in Melbourne clubs, who completed the Athletic Life Experience Survey (ALES) and Injury Surveillance System (ISS) to assess the stress-injury relationship. Injured athletes had higher ALES negative scores than athletes who were not injured. Further, higher levels of negative life stress were found for injuries where three to nine days were missed than for injuries where there was no missed practice and competition. The second study examined the effect of stress and psychosocial factors on visual attention. Twenty physical education students (10 male, 10 female) performed central and peripheral visual attention tasks under four stress conditions in a Latin Square design. Prior to performing the task, participants completed the ALES, Athletic Coping Skills Inventory (ACSI), and Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ-6) to measure psychosocial factors and a test of physical work capacity (PWC). Participants then performed the visual tasks (a) in a noise (white noise) condition, (b) in a physical activity condition, (c) with both noise and physical activity, and (d) in a baseline condition, with no noise or physical activity. Results indicated that participants in the stress conditions had significantly greater errors in detection of signals from a central and peripheral targets. Participants also had significantly supported Study 2, with decrements in central and peripheral task performance under physical and physical plus psychological (noise) stress, which increased for larger peripheral angles. A significant reduction in A-state from pre- to post-intervention indicated significant in central and peripheral response times in the physical activity and physical activity/noise conditions for the AT group compared to the control group. Again, these reductions in response time were greater at wider peripheral angles. It was concluded that the results of the present thesis provide strong support for aspects of the Andersen and Williams (1988) model of stress and athletic injury relating to the effect of stress on attention and the influence of appropriate interventions to reduce stress.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Keywords Sports injuries, Psychological aspects, stress, attention
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