Term of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Master of Science, Kinesiology - Athletic Training Concentration

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 of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 1

Jessica Mutchler

Committee Member 2

Steve Patterson


Introduction: There have been many studies conducted on the stress and mental health of frontline healthcare workers (HCWs) over the past months since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Very limited literature has examined the effect of the pandemic on athletic trainers (ATs). Objective: The aim of this investigation was to examine the stress, stress appraisal, and coping measures of ATs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Participants were recruited members from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). The Perceived Stress Scale-10 was used to measure stress, the Stress Appraisal Measure was used to measure stress appraisal, and the Brief COPE was used to measure coping strategies. Data Analysis: Descriptive statistics were run on all subscales of the PSS-10, SAM, and Brief COPE along with demographic variables. Where appropriate, one-way ANOVAs were run to examine differences in variables of interest between AT setting and level of education. For these analyses, an alpha level of .05 was adopted. Results: This sample reported an average perceived stress score of 20.31. Participants reported an almost equal score in primary and secondary stress appraisal. The most used coping strategies in this sample included self-distraction, acceptance, emotional support, positive reframing, and instrumental support, respectively. Overall, 42.9% of this sample reported that they felt underutilized during the pandemic. Conclusion: While this study may have had some limitations, it may have been one of the first to examine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the stress, stress appraisal, and coping of ATs. Comparison of this data to other studies shows a broad agreement in similar levels of perceived stress and some similar coping methods. It is suggested that employers of ATs and other HCWs implement stress management strategies and the use of effective coping strategies to help these populations handle their stress more effectively in the future

Research Data and Supplementary Material