Investigating Differences in Perceived Stress Between Injured and Non-Injured NCAA Division II Student-Athletes During COVID-19 Direct Original Research

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Mindy Mayol
Faith Atkinson
Sydney Irvine
L. Hunter Stafford
Riggs Klika
Gary Long
Nathanial Eckert
Richard Robinson
Brian Reagan
Trent Cayot


Anxiety, Impaired, College Sports, COVID-19


Introduction: Little research has examined perceived stress of injured student-athletes (SAs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this study was to investigate if differences existed in perceived stress between injured and non-injured SAs during the pandemic. It was hypothesized that differences would be seen between the two groups with injured SAs exhibiting higher perceived stress scores.
Methods:  A total of 158 NCAA Division II SAs competing on 12 different athletic teams volunteered to complete an online demographics/historical questionnaire and the 10-item Perceived Stress Scale designed to measure the degree to which individuals believe their life has been unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded during the previous month. An independent samples t-test was performed with an alpha level of p≤0.05 to examine differences in perceived stress scores.
Results: A significant difference in perceived stress scores with a medium effect size was observed between injured and non-injured SAs [t(156)=3.18, p=0.002, d=0.51], with injured SAs (21.62±7.19) demonstrating higher scores than non-injured SAs (18.17±6.35).
Conclusions: As hypothesized, results showed that injured SAs exhibited higher perceived stress when compared to their counterparts during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings are similar to existing literature where injured SAs demonstrated higher stress scores than non-injured SAs during pre-pandemic times.

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