Psychology of Sport Injury : Prediction, Prevention and Rehabilitation in Swedish Team Sport Athletes

Abstract: The dissertation consists of five separate studies that all have focused on different aspects of the relationship between psychological factors and sport injuries.In the first study the aim was to investigate female elite soccer players’ experiences of the time prior to the occurrence of an ACL injury. In the result three themes of player experiences was identified: fatigue, life stress, and worry. The players interpreted these three themes as risk factors for ACL-injury.  The second study aimed to investigate whether personality, stress, and coping predicted injury occurrence in an elite soccer population. The result showed that an interaction between psychological variables (i.e. trait anxiety, negative life event stress and daily hassles, ineffective coping) could explain 24 % of the variance in injury occurrence. Moreover, the result showed that negative life event stress was found to have an indirect effect on injury occurrence through daily hassles.In the third study the aim was to investigate whether individual level and changes in hassle and uplift levels over a 10-week period could predict injury outcome in an elite junior soccer population. The results showed that both initial level as well as change in hassle influenced injury risk. More specific, both high initial level as well as slow decrease in hassle was associated with an increased risk of injury.The fourth study aimed to investigate the extent to which a mindfulness and acceptance based intervention program could reduce the number of sports injuries in a sample of soccer players. The result showed no statistically significant differences in injury rates between the two groups, but there was a medium effect size (adjusted Cohen´s d = - 0.59).In the fifth study the aim was to investigate an athletic injury as a career transition through the narrative expression of successful and less successful injury experiences of a former elite handball player. The participant’s narratives made possible to identify four phases (i.e., pre-injury, injury and first reactions, diagnosis and treatment, rehabilitation and consequences) in the injury transition with distinct psychological content (e.g., demands, resources, barriers, and coping strategies) relevant to each phase