The roles and responsibilities for program directors of professional educational programs are numerous. The purpose of this study was to investigate how multiplicity of roles and responsibilities influence occupational stress. Role theory was the theoretical framework to organize the research and to investigate the influence of multiple roles and responsibilities on occupational stress of Athletic Training Program Directors (ATPDs). This mixed methods study investigated which occupational roles and responsibilities contributed to the greatest amount of occupational stress for ATPDs. All ATPDs from the Commission on Accreditation for Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited programs were invited to participate in an online survey to investigate personal and program characteristics and to determine which occupational roles and responsibilities produce the most occupational stress. Eighty-three ATPDs participated in this study, and the stress levels in the various occupational roles and responsibilities were measured, summed, and averaged. The results indicated that accreditation was the most stressful occupational role and responsibility category whereas service was the least stressful occupational role and responsibility category. This study presents information which heightens awareness of occupational stress experienced by ATPDs and contributes to the understanding of the multifaceted ATPD position.

Author Bio(s)

  • Suzette Nynas, EdD, ATC, LAT, is an Assistant Professor and Athletic Training Program Director in the Health and Human Performance Department at Montana State University - Billings, in Billings, MT.
  • Carrie Myers, PhD, is an Associate Professor and Program Leader in Adult and Higher Education, in the Department of Education at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT.


The authors would like to thank and acknowledge Dr. Betsy Palmer for her contributions to this research. May she rest in peace.




Submission Location


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