Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2017

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Dr. Erica Sirrine

Second Advisor

Dr. Pam Criss


Athletic injuries are increasingly common at the collegiate level. These injuries not only produce physical detriments, but often elicit emotional responses as well. As a result, injured athletes are often facing increased stress and are in dire need of social support throughout the rehabilitation process. This study seeks to add to the amassing literature on the stress-buffer hypothesis and evaluates social support provided by athletic trainers, coaches, teammates, and professors and instructors for injured collegiate athletes. Qualitative findings revealed the most commonly expressed type of social support was emotional support from coaches, teammates, and professors, while tangible support was the most commonly reported type of support from athletic trainers. Overall, athletes reported disappointment and frustration to sit out from competitive competition, but generally felt support from all providers studied whose support instilled intrinsic motivation to sustain the rehabilitation process.