Coaches' perceptions of athletes' stress-related growth following sport injury

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Abstract

Objective:

The objective of this study was to examine coaches' perceptions of athletes' stress-related growth following sport injury.

Design:

Qualitative inquiry, grounded in a post-positivism paradigm was used to gain an in-depth understanding of the study's objective.

Method:

A purposeful sample of eight coaches (M age = 45.7; SD = 11.2) were interviewed across different sports and competitive standards. The semi-structured life world interviews were analysed using content analysis, and two trustworthiness procedures were employed to bolster the rigour of the findings (i.e., peer-debriefing and member checking).

Results:

Findings revealed four general dimensions of stress-related growth: personal growth (e.g., beliefs), psychological growth (e.g., sporting qualities), social growth (e.g., social support), and physical growth (e.g., strength). The coaches also reported a number of behavioural indicators that reflected the four general dimensions (e.g., health and performance).

Conclusions:

Findings ‘validate’ or provide coherence with athletes' self-reports of stress-related growth in previous research and also extend the literature by identifying a number of novel types of growth and perceived behavioural correlates. Future avenues of research include the need to conduct prospective studies and explore related concepts (e.g., vicarious stress-related growth).

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