“My Life Sucks Right Now”: Student-Athletes’ Pandemic-Related Experiences With Screen Time and Mental Health

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Martin Camiré University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Camille Sabourin University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Eden Gladstone Martin University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Laura Martin University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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Nicolas Lowe University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada

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The COVID-19 pandemic, and associated stay-at-home orders, instigated far-reaching disturbances in the lives of student-athletes, which included school closures and sport cancellations. The purpose of the study was to examine first-hand student-athletes’ pandemic-related experiences with screen time and mental health. A total of 22 Canadian high school student-athletes were individually interviewed in 2021. Interviews occurred online via videoconferencing and were subjected to a reflexive thematic analysis, which led to the creation of three themes: (a) pandemic life is a major grind, (b) screen time during COVID times: I feel guilty, but what else can I do? and (c) mental health during COVID times: mostly pain, but there is a silver lining. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for research and practice as it pertains to formulating endemic initiatives best supporting the many student-athletes confronting the psychosocial aftereffects of having lived through a global pandemic.

Camiré (mcamire@uottawa.ca) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5978-9892

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