Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Frank Webbe

Second Advisor

Anthony LoGalbo

Third Advisor

Heidi Hatfield Edwards

Fourth Advisor

Lisa Steelman


Objectives: To examine the role of injury type, coping style, depressive symptomology, and neurocognitive functioning in student-athlete injury recovery Method: Eighty-two (54.9% male; 45.1% female) students, aged 18-25, from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne Florida were administered the Coping with Health Injuries and Problems and PHQ-9 questionnaires to study the relationship between coping and depressive symptomology. Baseline neurocognitive functioning data from ImPACT scores were gathered in both student athlete groups. Participants in the concussion group were assessed with the ImPACT during their follow-up concussion management appointments at the Florida Tech Neuropsychology Laboratory. Results: A significant interaction was found between coping style and group, š¯‘‹!(6)=14.06, p<.05), Cramerā€™s V=.29. As anticipated, adjusted residuals indicated that within the concussion group, the percentage of participants who used instrumental coping (4.2%) was significantly lower the percentage of participants who used palliative coping (41.7%), distraction coping (33.3%), and emotional preoccupation (20.8%). Conversely, adjusted residuals showed that participants in the orthopedic

injury group were significantly more likely to utilize instrumental coping (43.3%) than distraction coping (23.3%), emotional preoccupation (23.3%), and palliative coping (10%).Recovery time and use of instrumental coping style was shown to have a significant positive relationship (r(80)=.333, p=.05). Additionally, emotional preoccupation (r(80)=.306, p=.05) and distraction (r(80)= .332, p=.05) coping styles were also found to have significant positive relationships with rehabilitation time. There was no significant relationship found between coping styles and the total PHQ-9 score. However, a significant negative relationship was found between instrumental coping and the item that measures a depressive symptom of suicidal ideation (r(82)=- .272, p=.01). Thus, increases in reported suicidal ideation were correlated with decreases in instrumental coping and vice versa. Conclusions: The results showed that athletes recovering from concussion are significantly less likely to utilize instrumental coping than other coping styles whereas athletes recovering from an orthopedic injury were significantly more likely to utilize instrumental coping. Thus, type of injury appears to have a significant relationship with the athleteā€™s coping style. In regards to this relationship, distraction, instrumental, and emotional preoccupation coping styles were all found to be significantly correlated with rehabilitation time. Additionally, the results from this study presented a better understanding of coping style and the presentation of specific depressive symptoms, such as suicidal ideation, anhedonia, and changes in appetite and/or weight in student athletes recovering from injury.


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