Returning to competition after a serious injury: The role of self-determination

Leslie Podlog, Robert C. Eklund

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    28 Citations (Scopus)


    We tested hypotheses grounded in self-determination theory regarding athletes' cognitive appraisals and emotional reactions when returning to competition following a serious injury. Professional male athletes (N¼225) competing in the Australian Football League were presented with return-to-competition scenarios that varied with respect to: (1) degree of selfdetermination and (2) salience of re-injury concern. Significant MANOVA main effects were observed for the degree of self determination on both primary appraisals and emotional responses as well as for the salience of re-injury concern on emotional response. Follow-up ANOVA polynomial trend analyses provided support for the hypothesized trends for greater self-determination in the return to sport to result in more positive appraisals and affect. Findings support self-determination theory contentions and research indicating the psychological benefits of increased self-determination.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)819-831
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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