Authors: JoAnne Barbieri Bullard
Department of Health & Exercise Science, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ, USA
JoAnne Barbieri Bullard, Psy.D., CSCS
201 Mullica Hill Road
Glassboro, NJ 08028
JoAnne Barbieri Bullard, Psy.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Health & Exercise Science Department at Rowan University. She holds her doctorate in Sport Psychology and Performance and is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. She also serves as the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for Rowan University.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Well-Being of Division III Student-Athletes
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused societal impact that has been intense and fast-paced, especially for college students when education was transitioned quickly into a distance learning format during the spring 2020 semester raising numerous health concerns. Spring athletic seasons were cancelled abruptly raising concern about the mental distress student athletes could be experiencing that could impact their future. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) addressed the disruption that COVID-19 has caused and the negative impact it has made on both physical and mental health of athletes (14). The purpose of this research study was to examine the mental distress and programming needs of Division III student-athletes in response to COVID-19. Through the use of the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale (GAD-7) and the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS), anxiety was assessed among participants suggesting that both genders and all academic years have experienced some level of anxiety during this pandemic which deserve to be addressed and explored on a deeper level. Significant findings revealed that female participants were more likely than male participants to effectively manage their schoolwork, use social media at least four hours per day, express worry for the future and the fall 2020 semester related to COVID-19, experience challenges moving home, and to utilize mindfulness practices. Findings also revealed that as compared to other races/ethnicities, white participants indicating experiencing higher challenges regarding social distancing. Mental distress was associated with lack of resources and the absence of available facilities to train for their sport. This setback led student-athletes to experience decreased levels of motivation, increased feelings of stress, and general feelings of helplessness. The need for interventions to be provided both remotely and in-person to provide modalities assisting in coping with anxiety is apparent.(more…)