Term of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Tamerah Hunt


Season ending and career ending injuries make up a large portion of all injuries (Tirabassi et al., 2016). Among psychological consequences to these types of injuries, isolation is a social consequence that has been identified as occurring after injury (Gould et al., 1997). Isolation is related to loss of identity for an athlete (Mankand et al., 2009). Additionally, low levels of support have been shown to increase feelings of isolation in injured athletes (Mitchell et al., 2014). The purpose of the present study was to explore the experience of isolation as a psychological response to injury among athletes with career ending or season ending injury. The present study utilized a general interpretive qualitative methodology to gain an understanding of athletes’ personal experiences with isolation, athletic identity, and social support. Seven athletes were recruited from a division I university. The themes suggested isolation is an individualized experience and regardless of outside factors, teammate support was present throughout respondents. Additionally, isolation is often experienced early onset after injury. The findings suggest athletic trainers and coaches should attempt to keep athletes involved with the team in a meaningful way while they are rehabilitating from an injury (Podlog & Dionigi, 2010). Additionally, coaches in particular can aid in positively influencing an athlete during injury recovery by providing social support (Park, 2000). Sport psychologists are not only in a good position to provide support for student-athletes, but also to educate teams about the injury process and how support can be provided for injured athletes.

Research Data and Supplementary Material