Lindsay J. DiStefano, Ph.D., ATC


Department Head, Department of Kinesiology

Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Research Associate, Human Performance Laboratory

Academic Degrees:

Ph.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009

M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005

B.S. Boston University, 1999

Areas of Expertise:

Dissemination and implementation of preventive training programs in sport, physical literacy, youth sport safety, lower extremity musculoskeletal injury risk identification


Lindsay DiStefano is the Department Head and an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. DiStefano is extremely active with conducting research to determine the best strategies to promote physical literacy and reduce the risk of youth sports-related injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, in children. Dr. DiStefano has published numerous research papers and presented nationally and internationally. She is currently engaged with major research studies to identify best practices for implementation and dissemination of interventions to improve safe physical activity participation and ensure proper development of physical literacy in children. Dr. DiStefano completed her undergraduate degree at Boston University and her graduate and doctoral degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She resides in Mansfield, CT with her husband and their three children.

Funded Research:

Validating and Promoting Physical Literacy in Children in the United States

Effectiveness of Brain Breaks to Improve Physical Literacy

Comprehensive High School Sport Safety: A Personalized Approach for the Local Implementation of Best Practice Initiatives

Developing Lower Extremity Injury Prediction Models and Evaluating Targeted Injury Prevention Strategies

Youth Lower Extremity Injury Prevention: Monitoring Changes Over Time

Selected Publications in the last 5 years:

DiStefano LJ, Beltz EM, Root HJ, Martinez JC, Houghton A, Taranto N, McConnell E, Pearce K, Muscat C, Boyle S, Trojian TH. Sport-Sampling Improves Neuromuscular Control in Youth Athletes. In Press with Sports Health, Accepted July 2017.

Padua DA, DiStefano LJ, Garrett WJ, Golden G, Shultz SJ, Marshall SW. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Prevention of Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury. In Press with the Journal of Athletic Training. Accepted June 2017.

DiStefano LJ, Frank BS, Root HJ, Padua DA. Dissemination and Implementation Strategies of Lower Extremity Preventive Training Programs in Youth: A Clinical Review. In Press with Sports Health, Accepted May 2017.

Palmieri-Smith RM, Cameron KL, DiStefano LJ, Driban JB, Pietrosimone BG, Thomas AC, Tourville TW. The Role of Athletic Trainers in Preventing and Managing Posttraumatic Osteoarthritis in Physically Active Populations: A Review and Recommendations from the Athletic Trainers’ Osteoarthritis Consortium. Journal of Athletic Training. 52(6): 610-623, 2017.

Pryor JL, Root HJ, Martinez JC, Trojian TH, Denegar CM, DiStefano LJ. Coach-led preventive training program in youth soccer players improves movement technique. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Accepted May 2016.

Mauntel T, Padua DA, Stanley LE, Frank BS, DiStefano LJ, Peck KY, Cameron KL, Marshall SW. Automated Quantification of the Landing Error Scoring System with a Markerless Motion Capture System. In Press with the Journal of Athletic Training. Accepted December 2016.

Peck KY, DiStefano LJ, Padua DA, Beutler AI, de la Motte SJ, Marshall SW, Cameron KL. Effect of a Lower Extremity Injury Prevention Program on Physical Performance Scores in Military Recruits. In Press with the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Accepted December 2016.

Fidler J, McLaughlin P, Bubela D, Scarneo SE, McGarry J, Evanovich J, DiStefano LJ. An Exploration of the Relationship of Body Mass Index with Motor Performance Measures and Quality of Life in Urban Youth. Journal of Childhood Obesity. 1(4): 1-20, 2016.

Martinez JC, Trojian TH, Pagnotta KD, DiStefano LJ. Female Adolescent Athletes’ Attitudes and Perspectives on Injury Prevention Programs.  Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 20(2): 146-151, 2017.

Nguyen AD, Zuk EF, Baellow A, Pfile KR, DiStefano LJ, Boling MC. Longitudinal Changes in Hip Strength and Range of Motion in Female Youth Soccer Players: Implications for ACL Injury. In Press with Journal of Sport Rehabilitation. Accepted June 2016.

DiStefano LJ, Padua DA, Peck KY, Beutler AI, de la Motte SJ, Martinez JC, Marshall SW, Cameron KL. The Effects of an Injury Prevention Program on Landing Biomechanics Over Time: the JUMP-ACL Study. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 44(3): 767-76, 2016.

Carow SD, Gerber JT, Cameron K, Haniuk EM, DiStefano LJ, Beutler AI, Marshall SW, Padua DA. Risk of Lower Extremity Injury in a Military Population After Performing a Supervised Injury Prevention Program. Journal of Athletic Training. 51(11): 905-918, 2016.

DiStefano LJ, Martinez JC, Crowley E, Kerner M, Matteau E, Boling MC, Nguyen AN, Trojian TH. Maturation and Sex Differences in Neuromuscular Characteristics of Youth Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 29(9): 2465-73, 2015.

Root HJ, Martinez JC, Kraemer WJ, Trojian TH, DiStefano LJ. A Lower Extremity Injury Prevention Program Acutely Improves Landing Technique and Performance in Youth Athletes. Journal of Athletic Training. 50(11): 1149-57, 2015.

Padua DA, Frank B, Donaldson A, de la Motte SJ, Cameron KL, Beutler AI, DiStefano LJ, Marshall SW. Seven Steps for Program Design Implementation – JUMP ACL Experience. Clinical Sports Medicine. 33(4): 615-32, 2014.

Padua DA, DiStefano LJ, DiStefano MJ, Beutler AI, de la Motte SJ, Marshall SW. The Landing Error Scoring System Predicts Lower Extremity Injury in Youth Athletes. Journal of Athletic Training. 50(6): 589-95, 2015.

DiStefano LJ, Casa DJ, VanSumeren M, Karslo R, Huggins R, DeMartini JK, Stearns R, Armstrong LE, Maresh CM. Hypohydration and Hyperthermia Impair Neuromuscular Control After Exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 45(6):1166-1173, 2013.

Bell DR, Vesci BJ, DiStefano LJ, Guskiewicz KM, Hirth CJ, Padua DA. Muscle Activity and Flexibility in Individuals with Medial Knee Displacement During the Overhead Squat. Athletic Training Sport Health Care. 4(3):117-125, 2012.

Padua DA, DiStefano LJ, Beutler AI, de la Motte SJ, DiStefano MJ, Marshall SW. Duration of Training affects Retention of Movement Pattern Changes Following an ACL Injury Prevention Program. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 40(2); 300-306, 2012.


  • Physical Literacy Award, Growing Great Schools, 2016.
  • Research Award for Best Scientific Research Paper, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, 2013.
  • David H. Perrin Doctoral Dissertation Award, National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation, 2012.


  • National Physical Literacy Association Advisory Board
  • Korey Stringer Institute Medical & Science Advisory Board
  • Collaboratory for School and Child Health Steering Committee, Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention and Policy
  • Rowe Scholars Steering Committee, University of Connecticut
  • Osteoarthritis Action Alliance
  • Athletic Trainers’ Osteoarthritis Consortium
  • National Athletic Trainers’ Association Pronouncements Committee
  • Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association Research Committee
  • National Athletic Trainers’ Association
  • American College of Sports Medicine