The Influence of Anxiety and Depression Symptoms on Help-Seeking Intentions in Individual Sport Athletes and Non-Athletes: The Role of Gender and Athlete Status

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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This study explored the influence of current anxiety and depression symptoms on intentions to seek professional help from a psychologist. Furthermore, the aim was to explore if symptoms influenced intentions differently in male and female, and in athlete and non-athlete samples. A total of 375 non-athlete university students and 187 individual sport athletes, 18 years and older were included in the study. A significant main effect of symptoms on help-seeking intentions was observed among females and this was moderated by athlete status; female athletes with depression symptoms reported lower intentions than female non-athletes with depression symptoms. There was no main effect of symptoms among athletes, but a significant cross-over interaction effect of symptoms and gender on intentions was observed; non-symptomatic female athletes reported higher intentions than male athletes without symptoms, and female athletes with depression symptoms reported lower intentions than male athletes with depression symptoms. Results suggested that experiencing depression symptoms may decrease female athletes’ intentions to seek help from psychologist.

Tahtinen is with the Dept. of Psychology, School of Business, Reykjavik University, Reykjavik, Iceland, and School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK. Kristjansdottir is with the Sports Science Dept., School of Science and Engineering, Reykjavik University, and the Physical Activity, Physical Education, Sport and Health Research Centre, Reykjavik University, Iceland.

Address author correspondence to Richard E. Tahtinen at r.e.tahtinen@2017.ljmu.ac.uk.
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