Publication Date

Summer 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Tamar Z. Semerjian


atheltic training education program, athletic injury, athletic trainer-athlete communication, Athletic Training, psychology, sport psychology

Subject Areas

Kinesiology; Psychology, General; Health Sciences, Education


The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the frequency with which athletic trainers address certain psychological issues related to injury and non-injury-related psychological issues with their student-athletes, their comfort and competence level with these discussions, and referral patterns to other mental health professionals. An electronic survey was adapted from Mann, Grana, Indelicato, O'Neill, and George (2007) and administered through ®. A random sample of 1,000 athletic trainers (ATs) who were members of the NATA were invited to participate, which yielded a response rate of 31.1%. More than half (n=170, 55.7%) of all subjects had completed 1-2 psychology classes in their undergraduate education. ATs reported frequently encountering psychological issues both related to and unrelated to injury in their student-athletes. Furthermore, ATs believed it was their role to address injury and non-injury-related psychological issues with athletes. Respondents reported feeling slightly less competent and much less comfortable dealing with non-injury-related psychological issues with athletes as compared to injury-related issues. Lastly, the more comfortable and competent ATs were with psychological issues, the more likely they were to refer an athlete to a mental health professional.