Purpose: Athletic training is a demanding profession that is a stressor for many practitioners. Emotional resilience allows Athletic Trainers (ATs) to persist in their roles and benefit from long and successful careers. The purpose of this study was to explore the level of emotional resilience of ATs working in secondary school settings and identify factors perceived to contribute to or mitigate one's emotional resilience. Method: A sequential explanatory mixed-method design using a cross-sectional online survey followed by in-depth interviews was used to gather information from 160 (16% response rate) secondary school NATA members - 97 (60.6%) female; 63 (39.4%) male with 13.28+9.46 years of experience. Six individuals (5 female, 1 male) participated in a follow-up semi-structured interview. The Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC) was used to measure perceptions of individual emotional resilience. Open-ended questions were also used to gather information from the participants who agreed to participate in a follow-up semi-structured interview about the factors perceived to both facilitate or reduce emotional resilience. Results: The mean emotional resilience score (79.84 ± 11.38) for the sample was consistent with the average US adult population. Only 14.1% of the sample reported high emotional resilience scores. There was a significant positive correlation between emotional resilience scores and years of experience as an AT (r(158) = .16, P = .048) and age in years (r(158) = .16, P = .048). There was no significant difference between emotional resilience and academic degree earned (F(2,157) = .775, P = .83). The inductive analysis resulted in the following emergent themes that were perceived to facilitate ones’ emotional resilience: social support, communication, self-care, and past experiences. Also, the following emergent themes were perceived to reduce ones’ emotional resilience: emotional responses and role overload. Conclusion: The results of this study help understand secondary school ATs' perceptions of and factors that contribute to their emotional resilience. Strategies are suggested to help ATs develop emotional resilience to manage their occupational stress and reduce feelings of burnout.
Henert S, Pitney W, Wood B, Grahovec NE, Wood TA. An Examination of Emotional Resilience among Athletic Trainers Working in the Secondary School Setting. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2022 Sep 26;20(4), Article 13.
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