Date of Graduation

Spring 2016


Master of Science in Athletic Training



Committee Chair

Tona Hetzler


Research has shown that the risk of athletic injury increases with increased psychological stress and that social support can help reduce risk of injury. Collegiate athletic trainers spend a considerable amount of time with and build unique relationships with the athletes on whom they work with. However, no research is available on specific factors that cause an athlete to turn to an athletic trainer for social support. An electronic survey was developed and sent to 938 local collegiate athletes to determine if, how, and why student athletes utilize athletic trainers for social support. The results from this study found that the more satisfied student athletes are with the level of social support provided by an athletic trainer, the more likely they are to confide in one (No injury prime: b=0.79, t(31)=7.20, p=< 0.001; Injury prime: b=0,96, t(26)=7.00, p=< 0.001). Further research is needed to look at what specific psychosocial problems lead athletes to seek athletic trainers for social support, what specific characteristics an athlete looks for in an athletic trainer to feel comfortable seeking social support, and what athletic trainers can do to make athletes feel more comfortable confiding in them for social support.


trait anxiety, mental health, psychosocial problems, athletic injury, stress response

Subject Categories

Sports Sciences


© Elizabeth Anne Gelhaus

Open Access