There is wide support from government agencies for people to exercise and indeed take part in sport. For many sportspeople, however, injury plays a part in their day-to-day sporting life. The pain of injury can be a very distressing situation. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether pain associated with injuries impacts negatively on sportspeople's emotions. The reasoning here is that, although pain will always be a part of the injury process, those who can maintain a more positive outlook are more likely to adhere to rehabilitation regimes, they will feel more confident that they will return to their sport fully fit, and they will experience lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol (elevated cortisol is a physiological marker, which may contribute to a greater vulnerability to re-injury).
With this in mind, data were recorded on 144 injured sportspeople. The key independent variable was level of pain, measured using a number of questions assessed with a Likert scale (from 1 to 5, with 1 signifying low levels of pain and 5 signifying high levels of pain). Please note, in the data set, you have only been provided with the participants' mean scores for these items. In line with recent psychosocial theories, data were also assessed with regard to the players' levels of social support. Social support refers to the participants' perception that there is help and support available to them in their social network to aid them in coping with the injury (there are many different types of support, such as emotional, esteem, informational and tangible types). Social support is also assessed on a Likert scale (from 1 to 5, with 1 signifying low levels of support and 5 signifying high levels of support). Please note, in the data set, you have only been provided with the participants' mean scores for these items.
The key dependent variable is termed Negative Affect. This is a negative emotional state. This is measured on a scale that runs from minus numbers (low levels of negative affect), through to positive numbers (high levels of negative affect).
There are three things you can test with these data:
1. What is the effect of pain on negative affect?
2. What is the effect of support on negative affect?
3. What is the combined influence pain and supportive behaviours on negative affect? We would hypothesise that pain would be associated with greater negative affect; support would be associated with lower negative affect. It was also hypothesised that the impact of pain on negative affect might be dependent on the level of support (more specifically, support might protect sportspeople from the impact of pain on negative affect). To test these hypotheses, you need to run a moderated hierarchical regression analysis on the data and test for main and interactive effects.
Moderated hierarchical regression analysis will test for the following:
1) whether pain is associated with a main effect on negative affect (positive or negative)
2) whether support is associated with a main effect on negative affect (positive or negative)
3) whether there is an interactive effect of pain and support on negative affect (Note: if so, you would need to graph this interaction to allow you to interpret it)