Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Sports--Psychological aspects; College athletes--Wounds and injuries--Iowa--Cedar Falls; College athletes--Iowa--Cedar Falls--Psychology; Academic theses;


Context: A mastery motivational climate is created when coaches create an environment high in individualized challenges, help is encouraged and given often, athletes help each other learn new skills, and improvement is based on self-referenced goals. In contrast, a performance motivational climate is created when coaches emphasize out performing others, promoting competitiveness, and high ability rather than high effort. Athletes with higher perceptions of a performance climate believe that their teammates are sources of distress and tend to participate in sport for competition while relying solely on ability and high rewards status. Objective: To explore the differences in perceptions of the motivational climate and how this relates to perceptions of playing through pain, unidimensional athletic identity, and injury occurrence. Participants: A total of 221 athletes, both male (n = 107) and female (n = 114) from a Division I University participated in this study. Main Outcome Measure: Athletes' perceptions of the motivational climate was measured using the Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire-2 (PMCSQ-2) with an internal reliability measure to be (a= .87) for mastery and (a= .89) performance climates. Athletic identity was measured using the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS) with an internal consistency to have a coefficient alpha of .93, .87, and .81. Perceptions of playing through pain was measured using the Sports Inventory for Pain (SIP) questionnaire with an acceptable internal consistency for the five pain subscales ranging from (a =.61) to (a= .88). Also, injury occurrence and exposures were measured. Results: Athletes who perceived their coach to create a high mastery/low performance climate had more exposures and sustained more injuries throughout the season compared to athletes who perceived a low mastery/high performance and average mastery/performance climates. (P < .05). Athletes with low mastery/high performance climate perceptions had significantly higher levels of catastrophizing. Athletes who had higher perceptions of punishment for mistakes and lower perceptions of unequal recognition predicted higher injury occurrence. Conclusion: Athletes in the high mastery/low performance group had more exposures and suffered more injuries throughout the season. Coaches should be involved in injured athlete's rehabilitation, reward improvements made during rehabilitation, and incorporate athlete's efforts on the sideline during practice to help maintain involvement and a sense of belonging to the team while not being able to participate due to an injury.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Windee M. Weiss

Second Advisor

Peter J. Neibert

Third Advisor

Jennifer J. Waldron


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Date Original


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