Profiles of Mental Well- and Ill-Being Among Elite Athletes: Associations With Sport-Related Demands and Resources

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 UTHA Ltd., Helsinki, Finland
  • | 2 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA
  • | 3 Faculty of Social Sciences (Psychology), Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
  • | 4 Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Tampere, Finland
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The aim of the present study was to identify profiles of elite athlete mental well- and ill-being and study how the profiles (i.e., subgroups of athletes) differed in sport-related demands and resources. A total of 259 Finnish elite athletes (n = 170 active and n = 89 retired) completed quantitative self-report inventories. Through cluster analysis, four profiles of mental well- and ill-being were identified. Profile 1 was overrepresented by retired, older, and male athletes, and characterized by good mental well-being. Profile 2 consisted mainly of active athletes who reported mild risk for alcohol abuse. Profile 3 consisted mainly of women who displayed possible presence of an eating disorder. Profile 4 was typical of young athletes with mental ill-being. The balance between sport-related demands and resources appeared to be the healthiest in Profile 1 and worst in Profile 4. The present findings are beneficial for those who work with and/or provide psychological support to athletes.

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