Term of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Tamerah Hunt

Committee Member 1

Christina Gipson

Committee Member 2

Megan Byrd

Abstract

Background: Approximately 60 million youth participate in organized sports, with 13.5 million receiving care for sports related injuries each year. Most youth sports organizations do not have readily accessible health care resources; relying on parents and guardians to manage injuries. However, a majority of parents and guardians are untrained in appropriate management of injuries, therefore there is a need for understanding the availability of health care resources within the community. Resources necessary to access health care include health services, health insurance, transportation, and communication. Barriers to these resources may affect lower socioeconomic status family’s accessibility to care. Purpose: Investigate the resources available to access health care and identify barriers to accessibility across varying levels of socioeconomic status youth athletes. Methods: 192 parents and guardians were recruited from two local parks and recreation departments. Participants completed a 37-item survey measuring the four resources to health care. Questions were individually analyzed using percentages and frequencies, then grouped according to the respective resource. Kruskal-Wallis tests were calculated to examine differences across socioeconomic status (SES). Results: The sample was comprised of 24% low SES, 35.9% middle SES, and 40.1% high SES. Participants were found to use an array of health care resources including health services, health insurance, transportation, and communication. Statistically significant differences existed between SES groups for health services (H(2) = 11.00, p = 0.004) and transportation H(2) = 14.39, p = 0.001), with low SES having fewer resources than middle and high SES. No significant differences were found between SES and health insurance H(2) = 4.49, p = 0.11) or communication (H(2) = 3.86, p = 0.15). Conclusion: Lower SES participants experienced barriers to accessing health care resources, specifically health services and transportation, compared to higher SES participants. Parents and guardians of varying levels of SES did not experience many difficulties with health insurance or communication between themselves and health care providers for their children. Our findings are consistent with previous literature regarding barriers to accessing health care. Future research should examine effective ways to improve resources available within rural communities for youth athletes in order to provide equitable access to health care.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

Yes

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