Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center

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Information about project titled 'Association between psychological factors and injuries in young female football players'

Association between psychological factors and injuries in young female football players

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Project status: Published
Project manager: Kathrin Steffen
Supervisor(s): Roald Bahr
Coworker(s): Anne Marte Pensgaard


Identifying and understanding injury risk factors are necessary to target the injury-prone athlete and develop injury prevention measurements. The influence of psychological factors on injuries in football is poorly documented.


The purpose of this eight-month prospective cohort study therefore was to examine whether psychological player characteristics assessed by a self-administered questionnaire represent risk factors for injury.


Method: At baseline, female football players (14-16 years) were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire covering player history, previous injuries, perception of success and motivational climate, life stress, anxiety and coping strategies. During the 2005 season, a total of 1 430 players were followed up to record injuries.


Results: A history of a previous injury (OR=1.9 [1.4; 2.5], P<.001) increased the risk of a new injury to the same region. There were significant differences in disfavor for previously injured compared to non-injured players for ego orientation (P=.007), perception of a performance climate (P=.003) and experienced stressful life events (P<.001). However, only high life stress (P=.001) and perception of a mastery climate (P=.03) were significant risk factors for new injuries.


In conclusion, a perceived mastery climate and a high level of life stress were significant predictors for new injuries in a cohort of young female football players.