Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Molly B. Vass

Second Advisor

Dr. Suzanne M. Hedstrom


Emotional responses and coping strategies of injured athletes was the focus of the study. Several emotions have been identified in injured athletes such as frustration, depression, anger, and shock. Questions remain whether males and females feel similar emotions and engage similar coping strategies and whether severity of injury is a significant factor in responses and coping.

Quantitative data were obtained on emotional responses and coping strategies using the Emotional Response of Athletes in Injury Questionnaire (ERAIQ), the Profile of Mood States (POMS), and the COPE. The study examined whether gender and severity of injury may influence emotional responses and coping strategies of injured athletes, and the relationship between coping strategies and emotional responses. Forty three male and female subjects from nine different sports offered at four midwest intercollegiate institutions were recruited for the study. Subjects were asked to complete all three inventories within two days post-injury, and then at each week until they returned to action.

A one way analysis of variance was used to report differences between gender Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. and severity of injury. Males reported feeling more shock than females. Gender differences appeared with coping strategies; females have a greater tendency than males to use emotion-focused coping. Individual coping strategies which influenced the difference in coping strategies between genders were Positive Reinterpretation, Emotional Social Support, and Religion. Severity of injury was not a significant factor in emotional responses.

A repeated measure analysis of variance was used to examine emotional responses of athletes over time. Anger decreased during the first week while Shock, Depression, and Pain decreased over two weeks. Correlations between coping strategies and emotional responses were calculated using the Pearson r. There were low correlations between coping strategies and five emotions.

Results indicated few differences between male and female emotional responses to injury. Females may be more apt than males to cope with injury with emotion focused strategies. Results from the study provide evidence that athletes emotional responses over time may fit in to some current grief models. These patterns of emotional responses and defining coping strategies are two areas for future research.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access