Author (Your Name)

Samantha RizzoFollow

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Psychology Dept.


Christopher Soto, Ph.D.


The number of sports-related injuries that occurs annually in both youth and collegiate athletics is staggering, and the psychological consequences of a sports-related injury can be very crippling. Personality traits have been shown to play a role in recovery from athletic injuries, though the literature on this topic is quite limited. The present study sought to explore the impact of the Big Five personality traits, optimism, and resilience, on sports-related injury, rehabilitation, and recovery. A total of 228 NCAA Division III student athletes (ages 17-23) were recruited, and completed measures of personality, depression, stress, and anxiety during injury, rehabilitation adherence, and questions about their injury recovery. Participants completed a retrospective survey during their pre-season, concerning injuries sustained last season, and a prospective survey after their season ended, inquiring about injuries sustained in the current season. Personality traits, especially optimism, extraversion, and negative emotionality, were found to predict the onset of athletic injury, subjective response to injury, number of missed practices and games, and overall perceived recovery. A relationship between rehabilitation adherence and conscientiousness may also exist. The findings from this study indicate that individual differences in personality may influence how an individual responds physically and psychologically to a sports-related injury. Future research should incorporate the Big Five in the realm of personality and health-related outcomes.


Personality psychology, Big Five, Sports-Related Injury