A series of four studies examined the emotional climate of elite sport, and tested the utility of an emotional disclosure intervention during sport injury rehabilitation. Overall, results from the investigations indicated that athletes' usual coping mechanism during injury rehabilitation was to inhibit and suppress felt emotions, while displaying mock emotions that were considered acceptable within their sport climate. Pennebaker's (1989) written disclosure paradigm was shown to address athletes' emotionally inhibitive coping style and encourage psychological and physical well-being. It was found to be a viable alternative to psychotherapy within the sport injury context. Athletes showed improvements in stress and mood disturbance, and fewer grief responses towards their injury. Affective and cognitive linguistic markers also showed changes during the 3-day intervention period, leading to the informed assumption that there was a likely association between changes in athletes' psychological responses to injury post-intervention and changes among the linguistic markers of interest. Results were discussed in the context of the broader sport psychology of injury research and limitations of the present investigations were discussed. Recommendations were made for future research into intervention research targeting the psychological experience of long-term injury.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2009|