Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts with University Honors


Biological Sciences


Hamill, Danielle

Additional Advisor(s)

Busch, Andrew; Modica, Christopher


health and human kinetics, psychology, youth sports, genetic testing, injury prevention, overuse injuries, genetics, athletics


Each year in the United States, the number of children participating in organized sports decreases. Children may drop out of sports for numerous reasons, including overuse injuries. Genetic testing may help reduce the number of overuse injuries and improve the retention rate of children in sports. The previously thought nature versus nurture debate is now considered outdated as the birthplace effect (BPE), deliberate practice, and possibly genes (ACTN3 and IGF), all play a role in athletic performance. Common overuse injuries (hamstring injuries, tendinopathies, and Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears) in children are presented, as well as five potential genes to test for with potential association to overuse injuries. The ACTN3 R577X polymorphism is discussed for possible testing regarding muscle fatigue and injury severity. The IGF-2 single nucleotide G/C polymorphism is discussed regarding injury recovery time. A G/T polymorphism affecting the alpha chain of type I collagen was introduced concerning ligament and tendon strength and injuries. A GT dinucleotide repeat polymorphism of varying lengths is discussed for potential association with Achilles tendon injuries. Lastly, two polymorphisms (FokI and BsmI) of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) are examined with potential association to bone mineral density and stress fractures.


Secondary departments: HHK, Psychology

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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