Self-reported psychological characteristics as risk factors for injuries in female youth football

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009 Jun;19(3):442-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2008.00797.x. Epub 2009 Apr 24.


Identifying and understanding injury risk factors are necessary to target the injury-prone athlete and develop injury prevention measurements. The influence of psychological factors on injuries in football is poorly documented. The purpose of this 8-month prospective cohort study therefore was to examine whether psychological player characteristics assessed by a self-administered questionnaire represent risk factors for injury. At baseline, female football players (14-16 years) were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire covering player history, previous injuries, perception of success and motivational climate, life stress, anxiety and coping strategies. During the 2005 season, a total of 1430 players were followed up to record injuries. A history of a previous injury [odds ratio (OR)=1.9 (1.4; 2.5), P<0.001] increased the risk of a new injury to the same region. There were significant differences in disfavor for previously injured compared with non-injured players for ego orientation (P=0.007), perception of a performance climate (P=0.003) and experienced stressful life events (P<0.001). However, only high life stress (P=0.001) and perception of a mastery climate (P=0.03) were significant risk factors for new injuries. In conclusion, a perceived mastery climate and a high level of life stress were significant predictors for new injuries in a cohort of young female football players.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / classification
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / etiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Football*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Personality*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires