How Much Do Severely Injured Athletes Experience Sport Injury-Related Growth? Contrasting Psychological, Situational, and Demographic Predictors.

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Sport injury-related growth (SIRG) describes the possibility for athletes to benefit psychologically from an injury. The present, preregistered online study examined an international sample of 335 athletes with impressive athletic biographies who sustained a severe sport-related injury. Expanding the extant literature, we empirically contrasted numerous psychological, situational, and demographic predictors of perceived SIRG—specifically, athletes’ optimism, coping style, self-efficacy, athletic identity, social support, need satisfaction, and injury centrality. Our data first provide empirical evidence for perceived SIRG, even when statistically controlling for a potential social-desirability bias in athletes’ responses. In addition, frequentist and Bayesian regression analyses showed that several psychological variables predicted perceived SIRG—particularly athletes’ informational social support, positive reframing, optimism, and injury centrality. Finally, post hoc mediation analyses showed how these psychological variables account for different levels of perceived SIRG as a function of demographic variables. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, along with directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Sport & Exercise Psychology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)295-311
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 01.08.2022