Data_Sheet_9_An Interdisciplinary Examination of Stress and Injury Occurrence in Athletes.PDF
This paper adopts a novel, interdisciplinary approach to explore the relationship between stress-related psychosocial factors, physiological markers and occurrence of injury in athletes using a repeated measures prospective design. At four data collection time-points, across 1-year of a total 2-year data collection period, athletes completed measures of major life events, the reinforcement sensitivity theory personality questionnaire, muscle stiffness, heart rate variability and postural stability, and reported any injuries they had sustained since the last data collection. Two Bayesian networks were used to examine the relationships between variables and model the changes between data collection points in the study. Findings revealed muscle stiffness to have the strongest relationship with injury occurrence, with high levels of stiffness increasing the probability of sustaining an injury. Negative life events did not increase the probability of injury occurrence at any single time-point; however, when examining changes between time points, increases in negative life events did increase the probability of injury. In addition, the combination of increases in negative life events and muscle stiffness resulted in the greatest probability of sustaining an injury. Findings demonstrated the importance of both an interdisciplinary approach and a repeated measures design to furthering our understanding of the relationship between stress-related markers and injury occurrence.