Psychosocial factors and changes in peripheral vision, muscle tension, and fine motor skills during stress.
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA theoretical model of stress and athletic injury is presented. The purpose of the dissertation is to propose a comprehensive framework of the stress-injury relationship that includes cognitive, physiological, attentional, behavioral, intrapersonal, social, and stress history variables. Development of the model grew from a synthesis of the stress-illness, stress-accident, and stress-injury literatures. The model and its resulting hypotheses offer a framework for many avenues of research into the nature of injury and reduction of injury risk. Other advantages of the model are that it addresses possible mechanisms behind the stress-injury relationship and it suggests several specific interventions that may help diminish the likelihood of injury. The model also has the potential to be applied to the investigation of injury and accident occurrence in general. A portion of the model is then tested experimentally. Personality, stress, and coping resource variables are used to predict changes in peripheral vision, general muscle tension, heart rate, state anxiety, and fine motor skill (a hand steadiness task) from baseline to stress condition (a dual-task paradigm with noise as an added stressor). There were significant decreases in peripheral vision and hand steadiness accompanied by significant increases in state anxiety and heart rate from baseline to stress conditions. The only significant predictor variable for peripheral vision changes was negative life events. Subjects with high negative life events ratings had greater peripheral vision deficits during stress than subjects who rated low on negative life events. For increases in state anxiety only the self report of how the subject experienced the stress condition was significant. Subjects who rated the stress condition as stressful had greater state anxiety increases than subjects who rated the stress condition as challenging. The results are discussed in terms of future directions for stress-injury research.