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The provision of social support to injured high school football players: The role of the head coach

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Coaches are one potentially important source of athletes' social support. This leads to the possibility that coaches providing little social support to players could contribute to injury rates. I sent a 21-item questionnaire to 2,000 high school football coaches inquiring about the amount of social support they provide to injured players. A total of 668 questionnaires were returned. Social support items were homogeneous (coefficient alpha =.84). Self-reported support ranged from 3.1 to 9.0 with a mean of 6.9, and a S.D. of 1.0. I then examined the relationship between social support and coach-reported numbers of minor and major injuries in a season. Both relationships were low and negative, but significant (r = $-$.14 for both, p $<$.0005), indicating a weak tendency for the players of low support coaches to experience more injuries than players of high support coaches. The results suggest that coach support may be an important element in determining the injury rates of high school athletes.



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