The Effect of Covid-19 On Student Athletes’ Mental Health

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Northern Kentucky University
Covid-19 has had a broad reaching, global impact at every level of society. It may take years to fully understand the societal, economic, and overall impact of this persistent virus, but some areas of impact have been glaringly obvious as society navigates evolving pandemic safety precautions and scientific understanding of the virus. One area of significant impact is in student athletics. Isolation, lost opportunity for play and competition, and an ongoing world of uncertainty have been ever present for student athletes. Through the lens of social cognitive theory, this study explores the impact of Covid-19 on student athletes’ mental health through an examination of current studies and qualitative semi- structured personal interviews with athletes and coaches. Findings indicate increased stress and anxiety, difficulty concentration, disrupted sleeping patterns, and academic performance concerns. Positive and negative influences are explored and recommendations for intervention and preventative strategies to address mental health impacts are offered.
2021 Celebration of Student Research and Creativity presentation
COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-, College athletes, Student achievement