Coping with the Trauma of Professional Athletes



The investigation considers sports injuries as a psychological phenomenon, reveals the personality traits of athletes in terms of their vulnerability and resource to overcome injuries. Authors suggest the specificity of athletes’ coping strategies composition, as well as differences in their emotional state depending on the psychological well-being level. We consider gender-specific study links. In the survey, 124 participants were interviewed (M age = 22.1, SD age = 4; 80 male, 44 female). Authors has found significant differences in the ways of overcoming ordinary and sports stress among athletes having high or low level of well-being, gender-specific coping with the situation of injury have been shown. In the male group, athletes with high level of well-being use Problem-solving strategies, as well as Sport coping skills significantly more often. In the female group, in addition to coping peculiar to men, there is an appeal to Goal Setting and Mental Preparation, besides that they use Coach ability coping strategy. The study also identified coping strategies that contributed to the experience of well-being. Authors propose the practical aspects and perspectives of research.

General Information

Keywords: sport psychology, coping strategy, coping, trauma, stress

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Dovzhik L.M., Nartova-Bochaver S.K. Coping with the Trauma of Professional Athletes [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2015. Vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 25–38. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Lidiya M. Dovzhik, PhD in Psychology, Fellow Research, Sport Psychology Laboratory, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Sofya K. Nartova-Bochaver, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Laboratory for the Psychology of Salutogenic Environment, Department of Psychology, HSE University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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