Recent projects

Exploring Religiosity and Spirituality in Coping With Sport Injuries
Diane M. Wiese-Bjornstal, Kristin N. Wood, Andrew C. White, Amanda J. Wambach, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Victor J. Rubio, University of Autonoma Madrid

An extensive body of literature in psychology and medicine supports that religiosity/spirituality (R/S, Koenig, 2012) contributes to effectively coping with health challenges via cognitive, emotional, and behavioral mechanisms such as hope and optimism, stress management, social ties, and healthy lifestyles (Koenig, 2013). The purpose of this study was to explore the roles of R/S among athletes and other physically active individuals coping with the health challenges of sport injuries. A concurrent mixed methods research design using an online retrospective survey methodology incorporated quantitative measures of R/S (self-identified R/S affiliation, religious commitment), locus of health control for sport injury (multidimensional locus of health control, God locus of health control), and coping with sport injury (positive religious, negative religious, active, emotion, and maladaptive coping), and qualitative open-ended questions about the physical and mental challenges of sport injuries and the ways in which R/S affected and was affected by coping with these challenges. Participants included 49 physically active adults who reported experiencing sport injuries, with 37 self-identifying with a R/S affiliation (e.g., Christian, Muslim), and 12 indicating no R/S affiliation (e.g., atheist, agnostic). Quantitative results among R/S respondents showed a significant correlation between religious commitment (an individual’s commitment to religious beliefs, values, and practices in daily life) and God locus of health control for sport injury (GLHC-SI; a belief that God is in control of one’s sport injury recovery). GLHC-SI was significantly correlated with two adaptive ways of coping: positive religious coping with sport injuries (seeing the ways in which God is caring for me and strengthening me in this situation) and active coping with sport injuries (AC-SI; taking actions to improve the situation and looking for the good in what is happening). GLHC-SI was not correlated with maladaptive ways of coping with sport injuries (negative religious coping, maladaptive coping, emotion coping). Analyses of variance results examining differences between R/S and no-R/S individuals showed that no-R/S individuals rated themselves significantly higher on internal locus of health control for sport injuries, while R/S individuals rated themselves significantly higher on GLHC-SI and AC-SI. A thematic analysis of the open-ended responses regarding how R/S affected coping with sport injuries found six themes: prayer, others’ prayer, God’s plan, faith promoted positivity, negative spiritual coping, and no effect. Thematic analysis of responses regarding how sport injuries affected R/S resulted in five themes: reprioritize, positively/strengthen, negatively, withdrawal, and no effect. Future research will explore these findings within the context of specific R/S traditions.

Fair Play in youth football: Reducing injury rates through improved sportsmanship behavior
The Sport Medicine Psychology Lab is conducting a study designed to reward good sportsmanship and reduce injury rates in youth football.
Mood disturbance, mileage, and intention to run another marathon: Experiences of marathon runners at one and two months post-marathon
Researchers have examined the experiences of marathoners during training in terms of psychological adaptations and training volume (e.g., Lane, 2001; Lemm & Wirtz, 2013); however, limited research has been conducted examining the experiences of marathon runners post-marathon. As part of a larger study, the purpose of this study was to determine mood state, weekly mileage, and intention to run another marathon one and two months post- marathon and how injury and marathon performance impacted these variables.

Fifty- four participants, enrolled in a marathon training class, completed online assessments of mood state, running mileage, and intention to run a subsequent marathon at one and two months post-marathon. Injury was self-reported throughout training; marathon time and perception of marathon performance were collected one day post-marathon. T-tests revealed that mood state improved significantly from one month post-marathon to two months post-marathon (p<.05). Mileage and intention to run a marathon did not change significantly from one to two months post-marathon. Multiple regression analyses revealed intention to run another marathon at one month post-marathon was a significant predictor of mileage at two months post-marathon (p<.05) with greater intention associated with higher mileage. Additionally, marathon time was a significant predictor of mood state at two months post-marathon (p<.05), with a faster marathon time associated with less mood disturbance. Bivariate correlations revealed that the number of days of training impacted by injury was significantly positively correlated with mood disturbance two months post-marathon (p<.05). Mileage at two months post-marathon was significantly positively correlated with intention to run a future marathon at two months post-marathon (p<.05). Results of this study reveal that mood disturbance post-marathon may be a concern for runners and also highlight the potential impact of injury and marathon performance on mood state and subsequent running behavior.

International sports connections sports coach training program in Uganda
Wiese-Bjornstal, D.M. (P.I.), & Omli, J. (Co-I). (2009-2011). International sports connections sports coach training program in Uganda. Funded by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.