Thesis Title

Judgments of Responsibility of Sports Injuries Based Upon Level of Athletic Identification

Date of Graduation

Summer 2004


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Danae Hudson


attributions, athletic injury, athletic identity, responsibility, injury rehabilitation

Subject Categories



The purpose of this research was to understand how attributions, using Weiner's attribution theory, are formed in the context of athletic injuries. Much of the research has been conducted applying Weiner's attribution theory to illnesses, so this study represented an attempt to extend these findings to athletic injuries. In order to understand what types of attributions are made, two experiments were conducted. The first study involved the development of experimentally manipulated vignettes. In the second experiment, the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), which has established norms, and the Sports Injuries Vignettes and Attributions Questionnaire were used in order to understand attributions made based upon level of athletic identity and perceived responsibility. It was hypothesized that individuals with high athletic identity would make attributions that were different from individuals with low athletic identity, based upon perceived responsibility, of the injured athlete. Analysis of data consisted of a correlational analysis, a two-way analysis of variance for each of the dependent variables, and a series of sequential multiple regressions. Males and females were analyzed separately because of significant differences on AIMS scores, t=-34.26, p<.0001. Responsibility was found to be the most important factor in attributions that are formed in the area of athletic injuries. For males, there were significant main effects of responsibility with respect to control and anger felt toward the player. Further, for males, there was a significant main effect of athletic identity with respect to sympathy. For females, there were significant main effects of responsibility for control, anger, and sympathy. Although the original hypotheses were not supported, important findings in the area of attributions, as applied to athletic injuries, were discovered, such as the application of Weiner's attribution theory to athletic injuries.


© Megan D. Weaver