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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00665

Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction and Frustration, Stress, and Sports Injury among University Athletes: A Four-Wave Prospective Survey

  • 1Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 2The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • 3Halmstad University, Sweden, Sweden
  • 4Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • 5Tung Wah College, Hong Kong
  • 6Guangzhou Sport University, China

The prevalence of sports injury among athletes is rather high, suggesting the need to better understand the causes of sports injury, including the risk factors, for preventive purposes. Grounded in Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT) and the Model of Stress and Athletic Injury, the aim of this four-wave prospective survey study was to investigate the relationships among basic psychological needs satisfaction and frustration, stress responses, and sports injury. Study variables, including basic psychological need satisfaction/frustration, and perceived stress, were measured using a survey from 112 university athletes at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd months of the study. Sports injury was assessed using a self-report form at the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th months of study. Results of the Bayesian multilevel analysis showed that basic psychological need satisfaction negatively predicted sports injuries, whereas stress was a positive predictor. In addition, basic psychological need satisfaction had an indirect effect on injury occurrence via stress. However, basic psychological need frustration did not predict sports injury. BPNT is a viable model to provide additional explanations to psychological risk factors of injury. Intervention programs may be formulated based on the evidence obtained on the model.

Keywords: Athlete, injury, self-determination theory, longitudinal design, stress

Received: 27 Jan 2019; Accepted: 11 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Maurizio Bertollo, Università degli Studi G. d'Annunzio Chieti e Pescara, Italy

Reviewed by:

Diogo Monteiro, Escola Superior de Desporto de Rio Maior, Instituto Politécnico Santarém, Portugal
Diogo Teixeira, Universidade Lusófona, Portugal  

Copyright: © 2019 Li, Ivarsson, Lam and Sun. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Chunxiao Li, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, 639798, Singapore,
Prof. Jian Sun, Guangzhou Sport University, Guangzhou, 510500, Guangdong Province, China,