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Athletic identity as a predictor of overtraining and injury among elite Swedish athletes
Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH, Institutionen för idrotts- och hälsovetenskap, Forskningsgruppen för idrottspsykologi.
University of Utah, USA.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Sport Health and Physical activity.
Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare, Centre of Research on Welfare, Health and Sport (CVHI), Sport Health and Physical activity.
2015 (English)In: Proceedings, 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology, 14-19 July 2015 in Bern, Switzerland / [ed] Schmid, Olivier; Seiler, Roland, Bern: University of Bern, Institut of Sport Science , 2015, 326- p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The overtraining syndrome (OTS) is a complex multidimensional construct encompassing alterations in biochemistry, physiology, and mental states. Evidence indicates that overtrained athletes are at an increased risk for outcomes such as injury and illness (Vetter & Symonds, 2010). Limited research however, has examined psychosocial factors associated with OTS. One psychosocial factor that has been linked to an increased likelihood of deleterious states such as burnout and injury is athletic identity (Black & Smith, 2007; Coakley, 1992). Given these findings, there is reason to believe that athletes who strongly identify with the athlete role may also be more susceptible to overtraining syndrome, which may in turn increase the risk for chronic injury. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships between athletic identity, overtraining syndrome, and injury occurrence/frequency. To evaluate our study purposes, 628 Swedish athletes competing at the highest national level, completed a validated measure of athletic identity (AIMS; Brewer et al., 1993), a "training practice inventory" used in previous overtraining research (Kentta et al. 2001), and injury occurrence/frequency. Linear regression analyses revealed that athletic identity significantly predicted the physiological aspect of overtraining syndrome (β = 0.118, p = .003, adjusted R2 = .012), a greater likelihood of injury occurrence (β = 0.078, P = .05, adjusted R2 = .004), and a greater injury frequency (β = 0.119, P = .03, adjusted R2 = .013). Although the results are statistically significant, the shared variances between the variables are small (approx. 1%), suggesting caution in interpreting results from the present study. Our findings do however, provide a preliminary link between a high athletic identity, excessive training, and injury. Careful consideration by coaches and sport leaders should therefore be given in promoting too strong an identification with the athlete role.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bern: University of Bern, Institut of Sport Science , 2015. 326- p.
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-29996ISBN: 978-3-033-05129-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-29996DiVA: diva2:878638
Conference
European Congress of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC). Bern, Switzerland, 14-19 July 2015
Available from: 2015-12-09 Created: 2015-12-09 Last updated: 2015-12-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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