Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


College athletes--Middle West--Psychology; College freshmen--Middle West--Psychology; Transfer students--Middle West--Psychology; College students--Social networks--Middle West; College athletes--Psychology; College freshmen--Psychology; College students--Social networks; Transfer students--Psychology; Middle West; Academic theses;


The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of transitioning to Division I collegiate athletics on the stress-injury relationship and perceptions of social support. The secondary purpose of this study is to compare entering freshman and transfer student athletes to returning student athletes (sophomore, juniors, seniors, and 5th year seniors) on life and sport stress, sport anxiety, and injury occurrence. The injury stress relationship has been examined since Andersen and Williams designed the stress injury model suggesting that many factors occur that could increase the risk of injuries. Some of these factors include an increase in negative life events, high levels of anxiety, or a negative mood state. Male and female Division I athletes football, softball, and volleyball participated in this study. Each participant completed a questionnaire assessing life stress, perceptions of social support, and sport anxiety. The certified athletic trainer for each sport tracked the participants' injuries over the course of the season, and the total number of injury occurrences and exposures was compiled at the end of the season. Results indicated that no differences emerged between freshmen and transfers to returning student-athletes on levels of stress, anxiety, and social support satisfaction. However, juniors, seniors, and fifth year seniors had the highest injury occurrence compared to freshmen, transfers, red-shirt freshmen, and sophomores. In conclusion, although no differences emerged between freshmen and transfers to returners, future studies should examine the change of stress overtime.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Windee Weiss

Second Advisor

Peter Neibert

Third Advisor

Todd Evans


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (89 leaves)



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