Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


College athletes--Psychology; Sports injuries--Psychological aspects; Stress (Psychology); Academic theses;


To date, research has yet to explore differences in injury based on Fear of Failure (FOF). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if: (a) athletes of varying fear of failure profiles have different perceptions of stress, (b) athletes of varying types of fear of failure differ in regards to injury onset, frequency and severity, and ( c) fear of failure predicts injury occurrence and severity. A total of 127 male collegiate athletes competing in football, wrestling, basketball, and track and field participated in this study. Participants completed the Performance Failure Appraisal Inventory (PF AI) to assess fear of failure and the Athletic Life Experience Survey (ALES) to assess stress. Upon consent, injury information pertaining to each participant was collected over five months, capturing pre, competitive, and post season. A cluster analysis revealed four FOF profile groups: (a) "fear of failure-others doubt", (b) "high fear of failure", ( c) "low fear of failure", ( d) "fear of failure of self-doubt". No differences emerged between FOF groups on positive life stress, negative life stress, and positive sport stress. Differences did emerge in regards to negative sport stress with fear of failure of self-doubt group. The fear of failure of self-doubt group reported higher perceptions of negative sport stress than the low fear of failure group. In regards to injury occurrence, no differences were found among the profiles. Lower fear of shame and embarrassment and higher fear of upsetting important others emerged as significant predictors of injury severity. In conclusion, FOF groups higher in self-doubt experienced greater negative sport stress than athletes characterized as lower in fear of failure. Athletes higher in fear of being embarrassed and fear of letting coaches, teammates, family, and friends down following performances experienced greater severe injuries.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Windee M. Weiss

Second Advisor

Jennifer Waldron

Third Advisor

Mickey Mack


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Date Original


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