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    Injuries and Risk Taking in Alpine Skiing

    Published: 01 January 2000

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    The purpose of this study was to investigate the relation between motivation toward alpine skiing, attitude toward risk-taking behavior, risk-taking behavior, and injury incidence. Participants were skiers over eleven years of age. They completed a questionnaire that investigated skill level, sources of motivation toward alpine skiing, attitude toward risktaking behavior, and risk-taking behavior. A MANOVA was performed to compare three groups of skiers: (1) 163 skiers caught on the slope while performing a voluntary thrill-seeking behavior that could directly or indirectly lead to a sequence of events frequently associated to injuries (RISK TAKING); (2) 190 injured skiers (INJURED); and (3) 219 randomly selected skiers (UNINJURED). Significant differences were found between the three groups on age and skill level (p < 0.001). Skiers from the RISK TAKING group were younger (19.9 years old) than those from the INJURED group (24.7 years old) who were in turn younger than the UNINJURED group (30.7 years old). Skiers from the INJURED group were the least skilled, while those from the RISK TAKING group were the most skilled (p < 0.001). No differences were found between the INJURED and the UNINJURED groups on their source of motivation for skiing and their attitude toward risk taking. However, skiers from the RISK TAKING group were significantly different than the other two groups on those cognitive variables. They perceived the risky behaviors presented in vignettes as being less dangerous than skiers from the UNINJURED and the INJURED groups. These results suggest that in future prevention programs, the emphasis should be placed on the development of skiing technique among the lowskilled skiers. It also questions the strategy of targeting risk takers in prevention campaigns.


    alpine skiing, motivation, attitude, risk taking, injuries

    Author Information:

    Goulet, C
    Research officer, Secrétariat au loisir et au sport, ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec, Trois-Rivières, Québec

    Régnier, G
    Research officer, Conseil d'évaluation des technologies de la santé, Montréal, Québec

    Valois, P
    Professor, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec

    Ouellet, G
    Professor, Université du Québec à Trois-Riviéres, Trois-Rivières, Québec

    Committee/Subcommittee: F27.65

    DOI: 10.1520/STP12872S