Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Corlett, J.


Education, Physical.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


This study investigated qualitatively the serious sports injury experiences of athletes. Participants were fifteen university, provincial, national, or local all-star level athletes between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine. All had been injured between two and eight years prior to being interviewed. In-depth interviews with each participant focused on personal history, injury history and experience, health care and social support, injury aftermath, and a follow-up section which included a validity check. Data from the interviews were organized into increasingly broader ordered themes that ultimately summarized the fundamental features of the injury experience. The second order themes derived from the first order themes and, in some cases, only the first order themes arising from the raw data analysis were: injury diagnosis, physical fears and adaptations, the role of health care professionals, affective domain responses, cognitive domain responses, shared social reality, empathetic support, altered self-concept, threats to sport goals, and feelings of a loss of personal control. These themes were ultimately organized into a model of the injury experience that identified an increase over time of internal attributions that reflected a positive self-concept. Early in the injury experience, athletes perceived themselves as being at fault for the injury and its negative consequences and were dependent upon others, especially health care professionals, for the positive aspects of their recovery. Internal attributions were couched in negative terms while external attributions were phrased in positive terms. As time went on, athletes came to take more responsibility for their own recovery and developed a more positive attitude toward their bodies, their injuries, and their role in rehabilitation. At some point, the injured athletes reversed the pattern that existed early in rehabilitation and began to develop a more positive self-concept and a more internally directed attitude toward recovery.Dept. of Kinesiology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1994 .G98. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0498. Adviser: John Corlett. Thesis (M.Hk.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1994.