Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Athletes and coaches from a university athletic program at the highest level of competition in the National Collegiate Athletic Association and a college athletic program at the lowest level of competition participated in this project designed to study athletes expected recovery actions when presented with various levels of injury. Physical self-efficacy, locus of control and injury history were considered as mediators in the expected recovery processes including expected recovery time, the number of recovery strategies, and reaction to permission for competition after injury. The Physical Self-Efficacy Scale (Ryckman, Robbins, Thorton, & Cantrell, 1982) and the Nowicki-Strickland Locus of Control Scale for Children (Nowicki & Strickland, 1973, adapted for use with college students and adults), were determined to be related to an athlete's predicted recovery actions from specific mild, moderate, and severe injury. Coaches were determined to have the ability to accurately categorize athletes regarding physical self-efficacy and locus of control. Athletes with an internal locus of control were found to predict different recovery actions from athletes with an external locus of control. Likewise, athletes with high physical self-efficacy were found to predict different recovery actions from athletes with a low physical self-efficacy. When athletes, who were classified as having both an internal locus of control and a high physical self-efficacy were compared to athletes classified as having both external locus of control and low self-efficacy, additional differences were observed. The athletes differed on ratings of their own ability, predictions of recovery times, and on level of awareness of the injury site after approval for competition. Repeated injuries were determined to increase extemality of locus of control of athletes. Previous experience with injury, the athlete's perceived level of ability in sport, and the coach's perceptions of the athlete's response to injury were also considered for their predictive ability for injury recovery.

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