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Injury as a career transition : Experiences of a Swedish elite handball player

Ivarsson, Andreas, Stambulova, Natalia, Johnson, Urban

Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)


In the career literature, an injury is termed as a non-normative transition (e.g., Stambulova & Wylleman, 2014), and therefore, it is implied that there is a process behind it. But the injury transition process has never been in focus of the career researchers in sport psychology, and therefore this study is a pioneering exploration unpacking this process. The study was designed as a single subject case study based on a constructivist narrative approach with the objectives (1) to explore the athlete’s career development, injuries within the career and their impact, and (2) to explore in detail the athlete’s injury experiences. The participant was a 26 years old former handball player who had experienced two major ACL-injuries during his career. To guide the research process from formulation of the research objectives and to interpretation of narratives, the narrative oriented inquiry framework or NOI (Hiles & Čermak, 2008) was followed. Following combination of the holistic-content and the categorical content analyses allowed conceptualizing injuries as career transition processes embedded into the athlete’s career development. Moreover, the participant’s narratives made possible to identify four phases in the injury transition (i.e., pre-injury, injury and first reactions, diagnosis and treatment, rehabilitation and consequences) with distinct psychological content (e.g., demands, resources, barriers, and coping strategies) relevant to each phase. Based on the results of the study it is possible to anticipate that athletes, sport psychology consultants, coaches, and members of the sport medicine teams might benefit from being aware about specific demands and barriers relevant to the different phases of the injury transition process. This knowledge can be further used to facilitate development of adequate resources and coping strategies to help injured athletes with rehabilitation process and successful comeback to active sport involvement. © 2015 University of Bern, Institut of Sport Science

Citera: Ivarsson, Andreas, Stambulova, Natalia & Johnson, Urban, Injury as a career transition: Experiences of a Swedish elite handball player, Proceedings : 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology: Sport Psychology: Theories and Applications for Performance, Health and Humanity: 14-19 July 2015, Bern, Switzerland., s. 241-242, 2015http://boris.unibe.ch/71978/1/FEPSAC%20CONGRESS%202015%20Proceedings.pdf