Social support and psychological response to injury

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Authors: Rees, T., Evans, L., Mitchell, I. and Hardy, L.

Journal: Psychology and Health

Volume: 19

Issue: SUPPL. 1

Pages: 144

ISSN: 0887-0446

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to assess the main and stress-buffering effects of social support upon psychological response to injury. Methods: Participants were 319 injured British sportspeople, mean age 27.3 years (SD 9.4), ranging in standard from international to recreational level. Recruitment of participants was opportunistic (convenience sample) at a sports injury clinic in the UK over a one-year period. Participants completed measures of perceived social support (Rees and Hardy, 2000), Stressors and psychological response to injury (Evans et al., 1996). Results: With alpha set at 0.05 for all tests, moderated hierarchical regression analyses revealed that across all 15 models tested, there were significant main effects for Stressors and social support on psychological response. Entered first, the effect of the Stressors was in a negative direction (R2 = 0.02-0.11). Over and above the variance in psychological response explained by the Stressors, social support explained a further amount of variance in a positive direction (R2 change = 0.01-0.06). There were 5 interactions (R2 change = 0.01-0.04). The form of these interactions was consistent with the hypothesised predictions and the stress-buffering hypothesis: the detrimental effects of Stressors on psychological response were reduced for those with high social support compared to those with low social support. Discussion / Conclusion: The present study has provided an insight into the potential for social support to positively influence psychological response to injury, both directly and by moderating the negative influence of Stressors upon psychological response.

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