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The experience of a major sport injury for female adolescent athletes Wicken, Tania


The purpose of this study was to describe the meaning of a major sport injury from a female adolescent athletes' perspective. A qualitative, phenomenological methodology was used to find a general structure for this phenomenon. Interviews were conducted with six (N= 6) female athletes between 14 and 17 years of age who had incurred an injury that would not allow them to fully participate in sports for a minimum of 21 days. Inductive, thematic analysis revealed eight common themes as the essence of having a sport injury for adolescent female athletes, which included: From Daily Frustrations to Sources of Anger, A Sense of Emptiness, A Sense of Uncertainty and Worry, Not Accepting the Injury, A Sense of Guilt, Seeing Makes it Real, I am Support But Alone, and A Coming to "It's Not All Bad." A follow up interview with participants both confirmed and clarified the findings generated from the first interview. Taken together, these findings revealed that for these female athletes, the experience of a major sports injury is a complex and multi-faceted phenomenon. Findings are discussed with respect to the sport injury research, as well as adolescent social-cognitive development. Suggestions for future research, limitations, and implications for working with an injured female adolescent athlete are discussed.

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