Perceived Social Support Given to Injured Collegiate Athletes by Their Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Teammates, and Athletic Trainers
Kinesiology & Recreation
Kinesiology & Recreation
Injuries sustained during an athlete’s career can be detrimental and may not only cause physical harm, but may cause psychological distress and resulting questions of identity, roles, and purpose. Social support is commonly defined as individuals whom are readily available, reliable, and let us (the recipient of social support) know that they care about, value, and love us. Social support is one way that clinicians and others who are close to the athlete can focus on helping the whole patient and meeting both their physical and mental needs more effectively throughout the course of an injury. Unfortunately, social support is often overlooked and evidence is minimal. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the satisfaction of social support given by head coaches, assistant coaches, teammates, and Athletic Trainers to their student-athletes throughout an injury, as perceived by the student-athlete. Methods: Athletic Trainers distributed anonymous online surveys to eligible student-athletes at NCAA Division 3 and NAIA universities in the central Illinois area. Sixty complete surveys (60.6% response rate) were available for analysis (males = 18(30 %), females = 41(68.3%), prefer not to answer = 1(1.7%) with an average age of 20.1±1.2). The survey was distributed and completed through a secure Qualtrics website. Results: The survey analyzed 8 different types of social support and how much the student-athletes were satisfied with the social support that they received from their head coaches, assistant coaches, teammates, and Athletic Trainers. A one-way repeated measures MANOVA revealed a significant multivariate effect for combined aspects of social support between the 4 supporters with Athletic Trainers giving overall more satisfying social support (Wilks Λ = 0.76, F (3, 59)= 2.09, p = 0.002, η 2=0.89). Furthermore, Athletic Trainers were shown to provide significantly more satisfying social support in regards to reality confirmation, task appreciation, task challenge, and tangible assistance support. Conclusion: This study identified important differences between the types of social support given to the injured student-athlete from these different individuals. This research can help guide Athletic Trainers and other healthcare professionals with understanding the importance of social support and bring light to a subject that has been overlooked.
McCauley, Darby, "Perceived Social Support Given to Injured Collegiate Athletes by Their Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Teammates, and Athletic Trainers" (2020). Kinesiology & Recreation. 5.