Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Science, Kinesiology - Athletic Training Concentration

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

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


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Tamerah Hunt

Committee Member 1

Christina Gipson

Committee Member 2

Barry Joyner


Introduction: The landscape of college athletics has changed with the rise of social media and recent regulatory changes enabling college athletes to monetize their name, image or likeness (NIL). Despite their growing relevance, literature lacks understanding of how these variables may be perceived as stressful to college athletes. Increased levels of perceived stress has been found to have a negative impact on college athletes physical and mental well-being. Purpose: Identify the relationship between social media presence, NIL deals, and perceived stress in college athletes. Methods: Georgia Southern University student athletes were recruited to participate in an online anonymous survey. The survey consisted of four parts: 1) demographic questions, 2) social media presence, 3) name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals, and 3) perceived stress. Data Analysis: Frequency and descriptive analyses of the descriptive data were run to provide insight about college athlete utilization of social media, NIL deals and their perceived stress. Three separate Pearson’s correlations examined the relationship between social media presence, NIL deals and perceived stress. Results: A total of 49 participants completed the survey. Descriptive analyses revealed that 26.9% of women and 82.4% of men who are eligible for NIL deals had at least one and that 65.5% of women compared to the 82.4% of men reported low levels of perceived stress for social media presence. The Pearson correlation revealed no significant relationships between social media presence and perceived stress (r=0.104, p=0.478), NIL deals and perceived stress (r=0.104, p=0.478) or social media presence and NIL deals (r=0.28, p=0.095). Discussion: This study investigates college athletes' social media presence, NIL deals, and perceived stress levels. Contrary to hypotheses, there was no significant correlation between social media presence, NIL deals, and stress levels among Division 1 athletes. Despite lower social media engagement and NIL deals, athletes reported relatively low stress, possibly influenced by support programs available and timing of data collection. Further research is needed to understand these complex dynamics in the evolving landscape of college athletics.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material