Association Between Sexual Violence Experiences and Well-Being and Risk for Depression in Elite Athletes Depends on the Context of the Incidents

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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The experience of sexual violence is known to be associated with a higher risk for depression and reduced long-term well-being, but the association has not been determined in elite athletes. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to further our understanding of the consequences of sexual violence experiences in elite athletes and into the influence of the context of the incidents. In total, 1529 German elite athletes took part in an online survey. Results reveal that athletes who had experienced sexual violence indicated lower well-being and a higher risk for depression. Also, the context of the incidents did influence the sexual violence – well-being/risk for depression relationship. In addition to showing that elite athletes are a very vulnerable group for different forms of interpersonal violence, our results underpin the need for more preventive measures in the area of (elite) sport when it comes to the prevention of interpersonal violence.

Ohlert, Rau, and Allroggen are with the Dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany. Ohlert is also with The German Research Centre for Elite Sport–Momentum, German Sport University Cologne, Koln, Germany; and the Institute of Psychology, German Sport University Cologne, Koln, Germany.

Address author correspondence to Jeannine Ohlert at jeannine.ohlert@uniklinik-ulm.de.
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