An Examination of Hardiness Throughout the Sport Injury Process
This thesis examined hardiness throughout the sport injury process. Study 1 investigated the affect of hardiness on the prediction of, and response to, sport injury. The data were analysed using hierarchical logistic regression and a two-way multivariate analysis of variance. Findings revealed that negative major life events predicted sport injury and hardiness moderated this relationship. Furthermore, main effects were found for hardiness and time on injured athletes’ psychological responses and use of coping strategies. But despite these significant findings, this study was limited in that it failed to explain why these phenomena occurred. As a result, Study 2 aimed to enhance the interpretability and meaningfulness of the findings from Study 1. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcribed, which were then analysed and displayed using composite sequence analysis. Findings revealed that athletes high in hardiness were less susceptible to injury as a result of negative major life events and were able to facilitate their recovery from injury because they used a refined repertoire of problem- and emotion-focused coping strategies. In contrast, athletes low in hardiness exacerbated the impact of negative major life events and injury by using avoidance coping strategies. The depth of these findings offered implications for professional practice in terms of minimising rates of injury occurrence and facilitating recovery from injury. Study 3 aimed to evaluate a hardiness intervention throughout the sport injury process. Within the framework of action research proposed by Evans, Fleming, and Hardy (2000), multiple methods of data collection were used. Findings revealed that the pre-injury intervention increased non-injured athletes’ awareness of how to improve their practice when coping with negative major life events, whereas the post-injury intervention improved the practice of an injured athlete by facilitating his recovery. The thesis concludes with a discussion of its strengths and limitations, practical implications and future research directions.