Assessment of emotional disturbance following a sport injury in the high school athlete: developing social support through E-mentoring
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Abstract: Recovering from a sport injury can be physically and emotionally challenging for an adolescent athlete. Previous research indicates elevated levels of anxiety, stress, and depression following sport injuries. Providing effective social support following a sport injury has been found to influence an athletes' ability to cope with the experience of being injured and assist in rehabilitation adherence. The aim of the present investigation was to examine emotional disturbance following a sport injury in the adolescent population and determine the effects of social support provided by e-mentoring. The first phase of the research involved a descriptive data analysis to assess emotional disturbance of adolescent athletes ( n =9) sustaining an injury preventing sport participation for six weeks or greater. The Center of Epidemiological Studies on Depression (CES-D) and The Incredibly Short Profile of Mood States (IS-POMS) were administered and analyzed for elevated symptoms of emotional disturbance. The second phase of the research was an examination of social support provided by an e-mentor, a college age athlete with prior experience of a similar injury. Randomly selected participants ( n =4) were assigned an e-mentor for a six week rehabilitation phase of recovery. Three specific questions involving e-mentoring as social support were evaluated: (1) Do injured athletes demonstrate an increased positive awareness of injury rehabilitation and understanding of the injury with e-mentoring? Analysis of e-mentoring conversations indicated the adolescent injured athletes developed a greater awareness of their injury, the rehabilitation process, and the ability to share the physical experience. (2) Does e-mentoring influence emotional disturbance following a sport injury? Not all injured participants suffered emotional disturbance indicated through descriptive data analysis. However, examination of e-mentoring conversations indicated emotional support was provided from the e-mentor relationships. (3) Can the e-mentoring process provide a social support validating the injury and offer a positive experience? This investigation indicates e-mentoring provided physical, emotional and psychological support during a six week rehabilitation phase of an injury. Each injured athlete's interpretation and follow-up responses from the study suggest e-mentoring was a positive social support. Results from this research will raise awareness of emotional disturbance by an adolescent athlete following an injury and the manner in which social support can influence injury knowledge and rehabilitation adherence. The implications of e-mentoring suggest positive social support from an e-mentor can influence the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of an injured athlete affecting emotional recovery following a sport injury.
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