Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

School

Communication

Committee Chair

Dr. Steven Venette

Committee Chair School

Communication

Committee Member 2

Dr. Kathryn Anthony

Committee Member 2 School

Communication

Committee Member 3

Dr. John Meyer

Committee Member 3 School

Communication

Abstract

Injured athletes’ perspectives on different aspect of their recovery process were analyzed using concepts such as social support, responsiveness, and self-disclosure based on three different sources: coaches, trainers, and teammates. 39 participants were used for this study. With an age range from 18-44 years old, the participants are both current college and former college athletes. Many of them ranged from the different types of sports played and at different divisional levels. 82.1% of participants were Caucasian, 12.8% were African American, and 5.1% selected other as their ethnicity. The results exemplify, through linear regression, that trainers are the most effective source of social support for an injured athlete, followed by coaches, and then lastly, other teammates. Through the analysis of mediation, the researcher also found that responsiveness mediates the relationship of social support and self-disclosure (p=.849 (coaches), .819 (trainers), and .571 (teammates)). All three sources were found significantly different when running this analysis. There are conclusions drawn from this study, including that the relational dynamics between a coach and athlete are not as strong for an injured athlete. Also, the researcher can imply that with the amount of time an athlete spends with a trainer during recovery, it could make the recovery process easier for the injured athlete and they would be more likely to go to the trainer for any kind of social support.

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