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

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology

Click name to view affiliation

Satu KaskiUTHA Ltd., Helsinki, Finland

Search for other papers by Satu Kaski in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
*
,
Monna Arvinen-BarrowUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Search for other papers by Monna Arvinen-Barrow in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Ulla KinnunenFaculty of Social Sciences (Psychology), Tampere University, Tampere, Finland

Search for other papers by Ulla Kinnunen in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Jari ParkkariFaculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Tampere, Finland

Search for other papers by Jari Parkkari in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

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.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
  • Aalto, A.M., Elovainio, M., Kivimäki, M., Uutela, A., & Pirkola S. (2012). The Beck Depression Inventory and General Health Questionnaire as measures of depression in the general population: A validation study with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview as the gold standard. Psychiatry Research, 97(1–2), 163171. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2011.09.008

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arnold, R., & Fletcher, D. (2012). A research synthesis and taxonomic classification of the organizational stressors encountered by sport performers. Journal of Sport Exercise Psychology, 34(3), 397429. https://doi.org/10.1123/jsep.34.3.397

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arvinen-Barrow, M., DeGrave, K., Pack, S., & Hemmings, B. (2019). Transitioning out of professional sport: The psychosocial impact of career-ending non-musculoskeletal injuries among male cricketers from England and Wales. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 13(4), 629644. https://doi.org/10.1123/jcsp.2017-0040

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arvinen-Barrow, M., Nässi, A., & Ruiz, M.C. (2015). Kun vamma päättää, milloin ura loppuu [When injury determines when the career ends]. Liikunta & Tiede, 52(6), 4549.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Babor, T.F., Higgins-Biddle, J.C., Saunders, J.B., & Monteiro, M.G. (2001). Audit. The alcohol use disorders identification test (2nd ed.). The World Health Organization. https://WHO_MSD_MSB_01.6a.pdf

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bakker, A.B., & Demerouti, E. (2017). Job demands–resources theory: Taking stock and looking forward. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 22(3), 273285. https://doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000056

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beck, A. (1972). Depression: Causes and treatment. University of Pennsylvania Press.

  • Beck, A.T., Epstein, N., Brown, G., & Steer, R.A. (1988). An inventory of measuring clinical anxiety: Psychometric properties. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56(6), 893897. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.56.6.893

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Benassi, M., Garofalo, S., Ambrosini, F., Sant’Angelo, R.P., Raggini, R., De Paoli, G., Ravani, C., Giovagnoli, S., Orsoni, M., & Piraccini, G. (2020). Using two-step cluster analysis and latent class cluster analysis to classify the cognitive heterogeneity of cross-diagnostic psychiatric in-patients. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, Article 1085. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01085

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bergman, L.R., & Lundh, L.-G. (2015). Introduction: The person-oriented approach: Roots and roads to the future. Journal for Person-Oriented Research, 1(1–2), 16. https://doi.org/10.17505/jpor.2015.01

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bissett, J.E., Kroshus, E., & Hebard, S. (2020). Determining the role of sport coaches in promoting athlete mental health: A narrative review and Delphi approach. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 6, Article e000676. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjsem-2019-000676

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bratland-Sanda, S., & Sundgot-Borgen, J. (2013). Eating disorders in athletes: Overview of prevalence, risk factors and recommendations for prevention and treatment. European Journal of Sport Science, 13(5), 499508. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2012.740504

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bruner, M.W., Munroe-Chandler, K.J., & Spink, K.S. (2008). Entry into elite sport: A preliminary investigation into the transition experiences of rookie athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 20(2), 236252. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200701867745

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carless, D., & Douglas, K. (2013). “In the boat” but “selling myself short”: Stories, narratives, and identity development in sport. The Sport Psychologist, 27(1), 2739. https://doi.org/101123/tsp.27.1.27

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95(3), 542575. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.95.3.542

  • Doherty, S., Hannigan, B., & Campbell, M.J. (2016). The experience of depression during the careers of elite male athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 1069. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01069

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Esopenko, C., Chow, T.W., Tartaglia, M.C., Bacopulos, A., Kumar, P., Binns, M.A., Kennedy, J.L., Muller, D.J., & Levine, B. (2017). Cognitive and psychosocial function in retired professional hockey players. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 88(6), 512528. https://doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2016-315260

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fletcher, D., & Wagstaff, C.R. (2009). Organizational psychology in elite sport: Its emergence, application and future. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 10(4), 427434. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2009.03.009

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gelbard, R., Goldman, O., & Spiegler, I. (2007). Investigating diversity of clustering methods: An empirical comparison. Data and Knowledge Engineering, 63(1), 155166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.datak.2007.01.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gouttebarge, V., Bindra, A., Blauwet, C., Campriani, N., Currie, A., Engebretzen, L., Hainline, B., Kroshus, E., McDuff, D., Mountjoy, M., Purcell, R., Putukian, M., Reardon, C.L., Rice, S.M., & Budgett, S. (2020). International Olympic Committee (IOC) Sport Mental Health Assessment Tool 1 (SMHAT-1) and Sport Mental Health Recognition Tool 1 (SMHRT-1): Towards better support of athletes’ mental health. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 55(1), 3037. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2020-102411

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gouttebarge, V., Castaldelli-Maia, J.M., Gorczynski, P., Hainline, B., Hitchcock, M.E., Kerkhoffs, G.M., Rice, S.M., & Reardon, C.L. (2019). Occurrence of mental health symptoms and disorders in current and former elite athletes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(11), 700707. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2019-100671

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hautala, L., Liuksila, P.R., Räihä, H., Väänänen, A.M., Jalava, A., Väinälä, A., & Saarijärvi, S. (2005). Häiriintynyt syömiskäyttäytyminen ja sen varhainen toteaminen kouluterveydenhuollossa [Disrupted eating behaviors and early detection in school healthcare]. Suomen Lääkärilehti, 60(45), 45994605. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01085

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hughes, L., & Leavey, G. (2012). Setting the bar: Athletes and vulnerability to mental illness. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 200(2), 9596. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.111.095976

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Junge, A., & Feddermann-Demont, N. (2016). Prevalence of depression and anxiety in top-level male and female football players. BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, 2, Article e000087. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjsem-2015-000087

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kaski, S. (2013). Urheiluvalmentajien työhyvinvointi Suomessa [Occupational well-being of sport coaches in Finland]. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 1888 [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Tampere, University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kent, P., Jensen, R.K., & Kongsted, A. (2014). A comparison of three clustering methods for finding subgroups in MRI, SMS or clinical data: SPSS two step cluster analysis, latent gold and SNOB. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 14, Article 113. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-14-113

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keyes, C.L.M. (2005). Mental illness and/or mental health? Investigating axioms of the complete state model of health. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73(3), 539548. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.73.3.539

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keyes, C.L.M., Shmotkin, D., & Ryff, C.D. (2002). Optimizing well-being: The empirical encounter of two traditions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 10071022. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.1007

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kokko, K., & Feldt, T. (2018). Longitudinal profiles of mental well-being as correlates of successful aging in middle age. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 42(5), 485495. https://doi.org/10.1177/0165025417739177

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kuettel, A., & Larsen, C.H. (2020). Risk and protective factors for mental health in elite athletes: A scoping review. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 13(1), 231265. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2019.1689574

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lundqvist, C. (2011). Well-being in competitive sports—The feel-good factor? A review of conceptual considerations of well-being. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4(2), 109127. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2011.584067

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Martin, L.A., Fogarty, G.J., & Albion, M.J. (2014). Changes in athletic identity and life satisfaction of elite athletes as a function of retirement status. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 26(1), 96110. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2013.798371

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Menke, D.J., & Germany, M.L. (2019). Reconstructing athletic identity: College athletes and sport retirement. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 24(1), 1730. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2018.1522475

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Morgan, J.F., Reid, F., & Lacey, J.H. (2000). The SCOFF questionnaire: A new screening tool for eating disorders. Western Journal of Medicine, 172(3), 164165. 10.1136/ewjm.172.3.164

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nixdorf, I., Frank, R., & Beckmann, J. (2016). Comparison of athletes’ proneness to depressive symptoms in individual and team sports: Research on psychological mediators in junior elite athletes. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 893. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00893

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noblet, A., Rodwell, J., & McWilliams, J. (2003). Predictors of the strain experienced by professional Australian footballers. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 15(2), 184193. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200305394

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Park, S., Lavallee, D., & Tod, D. (2013). Athletes’ career transition out of sport: A systematic review. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6(1), 2253. https://doi.org/10.1080/1750984X.2012.687053

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Poucher, Z.A., Tamminen, K.A., Kerr, G., & Cairney, J. (2021). A commentary on mental health research in elite sport. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 33(1), 6082. https://doi.org/10.1080/10413200.2019.1668496

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Prinz, B., Dvořak, J., & Junge, A. (2016). Symptoms and risk factors of depression during and after the football career of elite female players. BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine, 2, Article e000124. https://doi.org/10.1136%2Fbmjsem-2016-000124

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reardon, C.L. (2017). Psychiatric comorbidities in sports. Neurologic Clinics, 35(11), 53746. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ncl.2017.03.007

  • Reardon, C.L., Hainline, B., Aron, C.M., Baron, D., Baum, A.L., Bindra, A., Budgett, R., Campriani, N., Castaldelli-Maia, J.M., Currie, A., Derevensky, J.L., Glick, I.D., Gorczynski, P., Gouttebarge, V., Grandner, M.A., Han, D.H., McDuff, D., Mountjoy, M., Polat, A., . . . Engebretsen, L. (2019). Mental health in elite athletes: International Olympic Committee consensus statement (2019). British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(11), 667699. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2019-100715

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Reinboth, M., & Duda, J.L. (2006). Perceived motivational climate, need satisfaction and indices of well-being in team sports: A longitudinal perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 7(3), 269286. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2005.06.002

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rice, S.M., Purcell, R., De Silva, S., Mawren, D., McGorry, P.D., & Parker, A.G. (2016). The mental health of elite athletes: A narrative systematic review. Sports Medicine, 46(9), 13331353. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0492-2

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryff, C.D. (1989). Happiness is everything or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 10691081. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.57.6.1069

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryff, C.D., & Keyes, C.L.M. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(4), 719727. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.69.4.719

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Saunders, J.B., Aasland, O.G., Babor, T.F., de la Fuente, J.R., & Grant, M. (1993). Development of the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT): WHO collaborative project on early detection of persons with harmful alcohol consumption. II. Addiction, 88(6), 791804. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1360-0443.1993.tb02093.x

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schaal, K., Tafflet, M., Nassif, H., Thibault, V., Pichard, C., Alcotte, M., Guillet, T., El Helou, N., Berthelot, G., Simon, S., & Toussaint, J.-F. (2011). Psychological balance in high level athletes: Gender-based differences and sport-specific patterns. PLoS One, 6(5), Article e19007. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0019007

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Souter, G., Lewis, R., & Serrant, L. (2018). Men, mental health and elite sport: A narrative review. Sports Medicine—Open, 4, Article 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-018-0175-7

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sundgot-Borgen, J. (1993). Prevalence of eating disorders in elite female athletes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition, 3(1), 2940. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsn.3.1.29

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sundgot-Borgen, J. (1994). Risk and trigger factors for the development of eating disorders in female elite athletes. Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise, 26(4), 414419. https://doi.org/10.1249/00005768-199404000-00003

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sundgot-Borgen, J., & Torstveit, M. (2004). Prevalence of eating disorders in elite athletes is higher than in the general population. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 14(1), 2532. https://doi.org/10.1097/00042752-200401000-00005

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Terveys [Health]. (2011). Tutkimus suomalaisten terveydestä ja toimintakyvystä. Kysely [A study on health and functional capacity among Finnish people. Questionnaire]. https://thl.fi/documents/10531/2797097/T4002_kysely1_aikuiset.pdf/3f03c39e-74bb-47e6-b334-b676b0e259d9

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wang, M., Sinclair, R., Zhou, L., & Sears, L. (2013). Person-centered analysis. Methods, applications, and implication+ns for occupational health psychology. In L. Tetric, M. Wang, & R. Sinclair (Eds.), Research methods in occupational health psychology: Measurement, design, and data analysis (pp. 249373). Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wolanin, A., Gross, M., & Hong, E. (2015). Depression in athletes. Prevalence and risk factors. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 14(1), 5660. https://doi.org/10.1249/JSR.0000000000000123

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Health Organization. (2014). Mental health: A state of well-being. http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 572 572 140
Full Text Views 13 13 4
PDF Downloads 15 15 4