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The Role of Self-efficacy in Injury Avoidance and Fear of Injury among Elite Athletes Open Access


Other title
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
McCaffrey, Adam J
Supervisor and department
Mrazik, Martin (Department of Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Klassen, Robert (Department of Educational Psychology)
Naidu, Dhiren (Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
Department of Educational Psychology
Psychological Studies in Education
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Education
Degree level
For athletes at the competitive level, injury due to the sport is highly probable. Athletes must continually deal with existing injuries and fears of new injuries throughout the season, which can cause considerable stress. Self-efficacy has been shown to influence how people feel, think and motivate themselves through personal judgements and perceptions made about their abilities. Self-efficacy theory shows us that the act of agency within our lives can help us to deal with controlling how to act and behave in our lives. In turn, this agency manifests in a feeling of confidence to control the external world and has been shown to increase the probability of achieving intended goals. This study explored the relation between self-efficacy in the domain of injury avoidance with elite football players in the Canadian Football League. Data collection spanned over 5 years and across 317 players on measures of the effects that past injury had on current self-efficacy beliefs, as well as how self-efficacy could predict future behaviors towards injury avoidance. Our analysis of the variance showed a significant relation of injury frequency, severity and type to current self-efficacy to avoid injury. Our results show a reciprocal and cumulative nature of self-efficacy with injury. Specifically, self-efficacy can affect future injury avoidance and injury can have the effect to lower an athlete's confidence in future injury avoidance. The results have important implications for theory, research and practice regarding sports psychology, counselling, and injury avoidance and recovery literature.
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