Empirical Development of a Screening Method to Assist Mental Health Referrals in Collegiate Athletes

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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The conspicuous absence of validated screening measures specific to mental health symptomology in collegiate athletes has negatively affected clinical practice in this population. Therefore, this study was performed to develop a sport specific measure to optimally identify collegiate athletes who are particularly likely to benefit from mental health programming. Participants were 289 collegiate-athletes who were assessed for mental health symptomology using the Global Severity Index of Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (GSI), factors that interfere with sport performance using the Problems in Sport Competition Scale (PSCS) and Problems in Sport Training Scale (PSTS), and motivation to pursue professional counseling using the Desire to Pursue Sport Psychology Scale (DSPS). As hypothesized, a hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that PSCS, PSTS and DSPS scores significantly predicted GSI scores, controlling gender and sport status (NCAA, club, intramural). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated that high-risk athletes (GSI T-scores ≥ 60) could be correctly classified by PSTS and PSCS scores. Results suggest the PSCS and PSTS may assist identification of collegiate athletes who are especially appropriate for mental health programs. These scales additionally identify factors directly relevant to athletes’ sport performance.

Donohue, Galante, Maietta, Lee, Paul, Corey, and Allen are with the Psychology Department, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV. Perry is with the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute, Novant Health, Charlotte, NC.

Address author correspondence to Bradley Donohue at Bradley.Donohue@unlv.edu.
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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