The psychosocial content area in athletic training education: perceptions of athletic training educators and outcomes in athletic training students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Leah M. Washington (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jennifer Etnier

Abstract: Athletic trainers are often a significant source of support for athletes coping with psychosocial issues, both in terms of directly assisting the athlete through psychosocial interventions (e.g., goal setting, motivations) and offering access to other resources (i.e., mental health counseling referrals), as well as providing various types of social support (Barefield & McCallister, 1997; Robbins & Rosenfeld, 2001; Tracey, 2008). Moreover, athletic training education includes a specific content area, Psychosocial Strategies and Referral, to prepare students to meet the athletes’ needs. Athletic trainers (ATs) have expressed an interest in, and increasing acceptance of, the use of psychological skills with athletes who are injured (Clement, Granquist & Arvenin-Barrow, 2013; Cramer Roh & Perna, 2000; Hamson-Utley, Martin & Walters, 2008; Larson, Starky & Zaichowsky, 1996). However, ATs often feel underprepared to assist athletes through the use of psychological skills (Stiller-Ostrowski & Ostrowski, 2009; Moulton, Molstad, & Turner, 1997; Misasi, Davis, Morin, & Stockman, 1996). This study aims to further understand the gap between required athletic training education and feelings of lack of preparedness on behalf of athletic training students. To that end, athletic training Program Directors, Preceptors, and Students were surveyed regarding five specific psychosocial competencies. It was found that while there was no difference in how Program Directors value the selected competencies, there was differentiation among both Preceptors and Students. Students value, feel prepared to use, and are more likely to use competencies PS6, PS7 and PS8, but not PS9 or PS10. Preceptors also valued PS9 and PS10 the least. For Preceptors, modeling the behavior was the strongest predictor of competency value. Multiple regressions were run to determine predictors of student values, preparedness, and likelihood of use. Results were inconsistent across competencies, however where the competency is taught and the value of the Program Director for that competency emerged the most often as significant predictors. Lastly, a regression was run to predict students’ likelihood of using a competency from value and preparedness. Across all competencies, value and preparedness were significantly predictive of likelihood of use, and in only one competency was value the only predictor. Results indicate that more research is necessary to understand student values of competencies as well as the influence of clinical instructors on educational experiences. Implications of the results and directions for further research are discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Athletic training, Athletic training education, Psychology of injury, Psychosocial competencies, Sport injury, Sport psychology
Physical education and training $x Study and teaching
Athletic trainers $x Training of
Coach-athlete relationships
Sports injuries $x Psychological aspects
Sports $x Psychological aspects

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