This study sought to determine the efficacy of particular strategies for delivering information about coping skills for stress to college student-athletes. This study analyzed 166 undergraduate varsity student-athletes. Among these participants, 60.8% were female (n = 101). The authors used a randomized controlled trial to compare video-based and text-based interventions designed to deliver coping skills information. Five weeks after the intervention, the participants completed a follow-up survey containing simple self-report questions regarding the memorability, use, and helpfulness of the coping skills information. In general, both strategies led to the use of coping skills by a sizeable proportion of the sample. The participants in the video-based deep breathing intervention were more than twice as likely to use coping skills compared with participants in the text-based intervention (risk ratio = 2.20, 95% confidence interval [1.02, 4.71], p = .03). Overall, the results suggest that both video- and text-based interventions have the potential to promote coping skills.
Tyler L. Malone, Adam Kern, Emily Klueh, and Daniel Eisenberg
Adam Kern, William Heininger, Emily Klueh, Stephanie Salazar, Barbara Hansen, Trish Meyer, and Daniel Eisenberg
Student-athletes experience mental health problems, but they often encounter barriers to seeking help. This study reports findings from the pilot phase of Athletes Connected (AC), a new research and practice program at the University of Michigan addressing mental health and help-seeking behaviors among collegiate student-athletes. Members of the AC team gave presentations consisting of contact- and education-based interventions to every varsity athletic team at a large Division I Midwestern university, along with pre- and postsurvey questionnaires to measure their efficacy. The presentations included an educational overview of mental health, two videos highlighting former student-athletes’ struggles with mental illnesses, and a discussion at the end with the former athletes portrayed in the videos. A total of 626 student-athletes completed the pre- and postsurveys. Results indicated significant increases in knowledge and positive attitudes toward mental health and help-seeking. These results suggest that brief contact- and education-based interventions may be helpful in reducing stigma and promoting help-seeking behavior among college student-athletes.