Between 2001 and 2015, 3.4 million traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurrences in the U.S. were accounted for by sport participation. It is estimated between 12% and 60% of athletes delay seeking care after sustaining a concussion. Differences in sport-related concussion (SRC) reporting have been attributed to several different factors. Whereas prior research related to SRC reporting behavior focus on normative and competitive pressures to continue play, less attention is given to the interpersonal context in which reporting takes place. Grounded in attachment theory, this study investigated relationships between coach-athlete attachment and help-seeking behavior. Findings suggest that as coach-athlete anxiousness increases, not reporting increases. and as coach-athlete secureness increases, not reporting decreases. Logistic regression analyses indicate that secure coach attachment significantly predicts greater likelihood of SRC reporting. These findings underscore the important role coach-athlete relationships may have on care-seeking behaviors of student-athletes and can inform individual and group interventions promoting SRC reporting.
Jeffrey J. Milroy, Stephen Hebard, Emily Kroshus, and David L. Wyrick
Emily Kroshus, Jessica Wagner, David L. Wyrick, and Brian Hainline
This study sought to determine whether completion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s “Supporting Student-Athlete Mental Wellness” online module for coaches increased mental health literacy, reduced stigma, and increased intentions to: 1) communicate proactively with team members about the importance of mental health care seeking, and 2) respond appropriately to support an athlete believed to be struggling with a mental health issue. College head coaches completed pre-test surveys (n = 969) and immediate post-test surveys (n = 347, completion rate = 36%). Module completion was associated with increased mental health literacy, decreased stigma about help seeking and increased intentions to engage in culture setting communication. These findings suggest that the online module is a good start for coach education about mental health; however, additional modifications may be warranted to the extent coach referral to sports medicine staff or provision of emotional support to student-athletes struggling with mental health concerns are considered desired behaviors.
Melodie Fearnow-Kenney, David L. Wyrick, Jeffrey J. Milroy, Erin J. Reifsteck, Timothy Day, and Samantha E. Kelly
College athletes are at risk for heavy alcohol use, which jeopardizes their general health, academic standing, and athletic performance. Effective prevention programming reduces these risks by targeting theory-based intermediate factors that predict alcohol use while tailoring content to student-athletes. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the myPlaybook online prevention program on student-athletes’ social norms, negative alcohol expectancies, and intentions to use alcohol-related harm prevention strategies. NCAA Division II student-athletes were recruited from 60 institutions across the United States to complete myPlaybook and pretest/posttest surveys measuring demographics and targeted outcome variables. Participants were randomly assigned to the treatment group (pretest-program-posttest; final n = 647) or the delayed treatment “control” group (pretest-posttest-program; final n = 709). Results revealed significant program effects on social norms (p < .01) and intentions to use harm prevention strategies (p < .01), while the effect on negative alcohol expectancies was nonsignificant (p = .14). Implications for future research and practice are discussed.