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Beyond the Physical Wounds: Male Varsity Athletes' Psychological Responses to Hypothetical Sport Concussions Open Access


Other title
Sport Concussion
Injury Severity
Injury Attributions
Depression Symptoms
Anxiety Symptoms
Varsity Athletes
Hypothetical Scenarios
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Pearson, Thomas B
Supervisor and department
Mrazik, Martin (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Hanson, William (Educational Psychology)
Truscott, Derek (Educational Psychology)
Gierl, Mark (Educational Psychology)
Ritchie, Leslie (External Examiner)
Department of Educational Psychology
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
Graduation date
2016-06:Fall 2016
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Following Wiese-Bjnorstal et al.’s (1995) sport injury response model, this dissertation used hypothetical scenarios to examine the relationships between sport concussion severity, post-concussion injury appraisals, and post-concussion depression and anxiety symptoms. Participants included a convenience sample of 99-male varsity athletes that played football, hockey, soccer, and basketball. The hypothetical scenarios depicted three sport concussion incidents that varied in terms of severity (return-to-play in two weeks, out for the season, and career ending). Male varsity athletes’ completed a measure of current depression and anxiety symptoms and were asked to anticipate their post-injury appraisals and depression and anxiety symptoms in relation to one of the three randomly presented sport concussion scenarios. Across the three sport concussion scenario groups, there was a trend of male varsity athletes’ anticipated post-concussion depression and anxiety symptoms being significantly higher than their current symptom levels. Moreover, there was a trend of male varsity athletes’ anticipated depression and anxiety symptoms being significantly higher for the scenarios that depicted increased sport concussion severity. Sport concussion severity significantly effected male varsity athletes’ anticipated injury appraisals and the effects were more prominent for the two week and career ending groups. Male varsity athletes’ anticipated post-injury appraisals displayed positive and significant correlations with their anticipated depression and anxiety symptoms, yet the greatest support was found for the two week and season ending groups. The findings were discussed in terms of potential theoretical and practical implications, methodological limitations, and future research directions.
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