Term of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Daniel R. Czech

Committee Member 1

Tony Lachowetz

Committee Member 2

Jon Metzler

Committee Member 3

Sarah Ritchie

Abstract

Injury is an unavoidable risk and many times a reality in the careers of competitive athletes. While the majority of these injuries will entail some form of rehabilitation followed by a return to play, severe injuries can ultimately end ones athletic career. For example, Kleiber, et al. (1987) discovered that the sole predictor of life satisfaction following an exit from sport was whether one had sustained a career-ending injury. Thus, the purpose of this research project was to qualitatively examine the experience of a career-ending injury through an existential phenomenological perspective. Because phenomenology aims to study how people describe their experiences, it is believed that this design can provide new insight into the athletic injury experience (Shelly, 1999). Data was transcribed and analyzed, and surfacing themes were identified in an attempt to describe the experience. Identified themes consisted of a) emotional response, b) changes, c) coping, and d) current state. These findings suggest that the experience of a career-ending injury may not yet be fully understood, however, support for prior injury research was also found.

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