hero image
Lindsay Distefano, Ph.D - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Lindsay Distefano, Ph.D Lindsay Distefano, Ph.D

Department Head, Associate Professor of Kinesiology | University of Connecticut


Lindsay DiStefano works to promote safe physical activity in children through physical literacy development and sport-injury prevention.


Lindsay DiStefano is a Department Head and Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Orthopaedics at UCONN. Dr. DiStefano is active with conducting research to determine the best ways to promote physical literacy and reduce the risk of youth sports-related injuries in children. She is currently working to identify screening tools for physical literacy, understand the influence of sport sampling and sport specialization on youth athlete development, and disseminate best practices for sport injury prevention.

Areas of Expertise (8)


Youth Athletes

Injury Prevention

Motor Development

Physical Literacy

Physical Activity

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Sport Safety

Education (3)

University of North Carolina: Ph.D., Human Movement Science 2009

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill: M.A., Exercise of Sport Science 2005

Boston University: B.A., Athletic Training 2003





Lindsay DiStefano loading image



Media Appearances (2)

How Tennis Star Reilly Opelka Bounced Back From Injury

Wall Street journal  online


Standing nearly seven feet tall, Reilly Opelka towers over most NBA stars. He has eight inches on Steph Curry and three inches on LeBron James. But he prefers to serve balls, not dunk them. The 21-year-old rising tennis star is the tallest player ever in the ATP Top 100 and he’s determined to shatter the notion that big guys can’t win big tournaments.

view more

Why Kids Shouldn’t Sit Still in Class

New York Times  online


Sit still. It’s the mantra of every classroom. But that is changing as evidence builds that taking brief activity breaks during the day helps children learn and be more attentive in class, and a growing number of programs designed to promote movement are being adopted in schools.

view more

Articles (5)

No shortage of disagreement between biomechanical and clinical hop symmetry after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Clinical Biomechanics

2019 Evaluating average performance on functional hop tasks can potentially overestimate physical function, as it masks variability present within individual trials and may lead to clinician oversight regarding the overall movement quality. The purpose was to evaluate the trial-by-trial agreement between hop-distance symmetry and knee biomechanics (knee flexion angle, knee extension moment) to reveal the full extent of agreement between these measures.

view more

Learned Helplessness After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: An Altered Neurocognitive State?

Sports Medicine

2019 Traumatic knee injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) sprains, have detrimental effects on long-term health as they initiate a cycle of chronic pain, physical inactivity, and disability. Alterations in strength and neural activity are factors that contribute to rehabilitation failure after ACL reconstruction (ACLR); however, psychological deficits also hinder rehabilitative success.

view more

The socioecological framework: A multifaceted approach to preventing sport-related deaths in high school sports

Journal of Athletic Training

2019 The socioecological framework is a multilevel conceptualization of health that includes intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, environmental, and public policy factors. The socioecological framework emphasizes multiple levels of influence and supports the idea that behaviors both affect and are affected by various contexts. At present, the sports medicine community’s understanding and application of the socioecological framework are limited. In this article, we use the socioecological framework to describe potential avenues for interventions to reduce sport-related deaths among adolescent participants.

view more

Heat Exposure and Hypohydration Exacerbate Physiological Strain During Load Carrying

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

2019 Heat exposure and hypohydration exacerbate physiological strain during load carrying. J Strength Cond Res 33(3): 727-735, 2019-Heat exposure and hypohydration induce physiological and psychological strain during exercise; however, it is unknown if the separate effects of heat exposure and hypohydration are synergistic when co-occurring during loaded exercise.

view more

Application of a preventive training program implementation framework to youth soccer and basketball organizations

Journal of Athletic Training

2019 Preventive training programs (PTPs) can reduce injury rates and improve neuromuscular control and sport performance. However, PTPs must be implemented correctly and consistently over time for athletes to benefit. Coaches represent the best long-term option for implementing PTPs. Youth athletes are at the optimal age for developing good habits before maturation. Although frameworks have been proposed to guide implementation efforts, little is known regarding the feasibility and real-world context of PTP implementation at the youth sport level.

view more