Project: Research project

Project Details


The purpose of the proposed study is to: 1) advance understanding about
the relationship between stress, coping and athletic injuries, and 2)
identify subsets of individuals at increased risk of injury because of
psychosocial characteristics which interfere with optimal and safe

We aim to assess whether: 1) stressors exert their influence over long
or relatively short periods of time, 2) the appraisal of sports related
events as stressful is more salient that other types of events, 3) the
stress-injury relationship is moderated by different coping strategies,
sensation seeking, varying emotional response to the appraisal of
stressful situations, social support, 4) injured cadets are more likely
than uninjured to experience high competitive anxiety, disrupted
concentration and attention, increased muscle tension and disruption of

We propose to carry out this study at the United States Military Academy
(USMA). USMA offers a unique opportunity to study these issues because
of a highly controlled and uniform environment, the centralized provision
and recording of health care, a high frequency of injuries, the ability
to collect self-report data directly through terminals at each cadet's
desk, and the deep interest the military has in injury prevention. We
also propose to carry out one aspect of this study at the University of
Florida (U.FL) utilizing varsity football players as a comparison group.

The design of the proposed project has four components: 1) a prospective
study of stressors and background characteristics in two periods of time:
upon entry to USMA, and at the beginning of the sophomore year, and
injuries in the subsequent semesters; 2) a case-control study of injured
cadets matched on athletic exposure to uninjured cadets; 3) a prospective
study of perceived stress and response to stress measured on a daily
basis over one three week period of time each semester at USMA; and 4)
a prospective study of stressors and background characteristics of the
U.F1 athletes and injuries in the 1994 football season.

If we are able to demonstrate a clear relationship between stress and
injuries, delineate time periods of greatest risk, identify mechanisms
that link stress to injuries, identify individuals at highest risk and
indicate that the findings are replicable in several settings, we could
make a substantial contribution to knowledge about the injury process and
to reducing morbidity from athletic activities.
Effective start/end date5/1/944/30/98


  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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