Lisa Trainor’s MA Thesis Proposal

Title: “Perceptions of Psychological Well-Being During Sport Injury Recovery: Experiences of Moderately and Seriously Injured Female Athletes”

Supervisor: Dr. Peter Crocker (Kinesiology)
Committee Members: Dr. Andrea Bundon (Kinesiology), Dr. Leah Ferguson (University of Saskatchewan)

Abstract: Sport injury is a stressful event because it poses threats to an athlete’s physical, emotional, and social well-being (Heil, 1993). Sport injury can have a psychological toll on athletes that manifests cognitively, emotionally, and behaviourally (Brewer, 2007). Athletes have also stated that there is a lot to be gained from the sport injury experience (Bianco et al., 1999; Podlog & Eklund, 2006; Tracey 2003). There has been very little attention given to athletes’ psychological well-being during injury recovery. Psychological well-being is defined as “living well or actualizing one’s true potentials” (Deci & Ryan, 2001, p.2). Further research is needed because the knowledge of factors that impact athlete well-being are sparse, and prevalence of well-being among athletes is unknown (Lundqvist, 2011). Thus, the objective of my proposed study is to qualitatively explore athletes who have had a serious injury in the last 12 months (out of sport for 21+ days) or athletes who are currently experiencing a moderate to serious injury (out of sport for 8+ days) and their perceptions and experiences of psychological well-being during the sport injury recovery process. The study seeks to explore the interplay of sport-specific and global well-being. Data will be collected through two semi-structured interviews with a sample of 8-10 seriously injured or moderately to seriously injured female varsity athletes. Interviews will focus on athlete-generated descriptions of psychological well-being, as well as how sport injury impacts experiences of psychological well-being and how this might change over time and in different contexts. Data will be analyzed thematically, following Clarke and Braun’s (2016) guidelines for thematic analysis in psychology. These findings could help further knowledge with respect to how sport injury impacts psychological well-being in the context of varsity athletes.