Term of Award

Winter 2023

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 of Health Sciences and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Tamerah Hunt

Committee Member 1

Tilicia Mayo-Gamble

Committee Member 2

George Shaver


Introduction: Mental disorders can affect all ages and populations, but there is an increasingly high prevalence in the pediatric population. It is estimated that 1 in 5 youth between the ages of 9-17 experiences some degree of impairment from a diagnosable mental health disorder (Merikangas et al., 2010). Youth are often not equipped to seek professional support; making parents, teachers, and coaches key to detection and referral to professional help (Ng et al., 2021). The environment youth sports creates gives coaches the opportunity to have a greater impact on youth mental health (Das et al., 2016). Purpose: Determine if age, sport type, and years of coaching have any effect on youth coaches’ confidence, preparedness, knowledge, and intention to intervene in youth mental health challenges. Methods: Youth coaches were recruited from recreation departments and through social media. Participants completed four surveys to determine their confidence, preparedness, knowledge, and intention to intervene. Data Analysis: Multiple Pearson correlations examined the relationship between knowledge, confidence, preparedness and intention. A MANOVA examined the effect of sport and age on knowledge, preparedness, intention to intervene, and confidence. Results: A total of 134 participants completed the surveys. The average scores of the four surveys were: Knowledge = 8.45, Confidence = 7.47, Preparedness = 3.41, and Intention = 5.13. The Pearson correlation revealed statistically significant results for knowledge (r = 0.450, p pp Discussion:Age, sport, and number of years coaching did not have any effect on coaches’ survey scores. Coaches are confident, but are not prepared to help youth athletes experiencing mental health challenges. Youth coaches who are more knowledgeable, are more likely to offer help. These results heightened the need for more mental health training. Future research should investigate this topic on a larger scale utilizing youth coaches across the nation.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material