Responses to the sports inventory for pain among BASE jumpers
BASE jumping is considered to be among the most dangerous sporting activities in the world. Individuals involved in this activity jump off of four different types of fixed objects that include buildings, antennas, spans (e.g., bridges), and edges (e.g., cliffs). There are many similarities between skydiving and BASE jumping, but there are distinct differences that force BASE jumpers to deal with more hazards in less time resulting in a much smaller margin of error necessary to make a successful jump. Although there is a high risk of injury and death compared to more traditional sports, no studies have examined how these extreme sport participants perceive pain. A total of 134 BASE jumpers were categorized on the basis of experience (low, medium, high) and completed the Sports Inventory for Pain (Meyers, Bourgeois, Stewart, & LeUnes, 1992) that measured six dimensions of pain coping styles. Multivariate analyses revealed significant differences on five of the six dimensions. In each significant finding, there was a similar pattern such that experienced BASE jumpers used more conservative pain coping styles than inexperienced participants as conceptualized by the instrument. It is argued that more conservative responses among experienced jumpers are associated with a greater awareness of the risk factors involved in BASE jumping and a higher level of self-preservation.
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