SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1994

Psychological Characteristics of the Chronically Injured Athlete


The helpseeking literature is used to provide a theoretical framework from which to study athletic injuries. The literature suggests that athletes possess specific characteristics (high self-esteem, high need to achieve, internal locus of control, masculine sex-role orientation, independence) which highlight the negative aspects of seeking and receiving aid and athletes performing at a higher competitive level have a higher degree of these characteristics. In addition, the literature supports that people with these characteristics perceive seeking and receiving help as very threatening. It is hypothesized that this threat is manifested by the following: a) delay in seeking help; b) less use of help; c) more self help; d) non-compliance; and e) a high rate of drop out in rehabilitation. It is also hypothesized that these behaviors create an injury-prone athlete.

Author Information

Duffy, FM
Yale University, New Haven, CT
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Developed by Committee: F08
Pages: 85–115
DOI: 10.1520/STP12807S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5282-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1886-7