The purposes of this study were to (a) examine the relationships between public stigma, self-stigma, and mental health help-seeking attitudes in college studentathletes, and (b) test whether referral source would have an impact on student-athletes’ willingness to seek mental health help. Participating college student-athletes (n = 43) completed an online survey including measures of stigma (public and self), attitudes, and willingness to seek mental health help. The results indicated that public stigma and self-stigma predicted a significant proportion of variance in attitudes (66%) above and beyond gender and treatment-use history. In addition, student-athletes were more willing to seek help when referred by a family member compared with a coach (d = 0.89), a teammate (d = 1.05), or oneself (d = 1.28). The results have important implications for helping student-athletes seek mental health help when there is a need.
Rachel S. Wahto, Joshua K. Swift, and Jason L. Whipple
Jessica L. David, Matthew D. Powless, Jacqueline E. Hyman, DeJon M. Purnell, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, and Shelbi Fisher
professional ranks, this phenomenon is not exclusive to professional sport. Similar to their professional counterparts, for many college student athletes Twitter is the social-media platform of choice ( DeShazo, 2016 ; Hambrick, Simmons, Greenhalgh, & Greenwell, 2010 ; Pegoraro, 2010 ; Sanderson & Browning
Nicole T. Gabana, Jesse A. Steinfeldt, Y. Joel Wong, and Y. Barry Chung
The present study explored the relationships among gratitude, sport satisfaction, athlete burnout, and perceived social support among college student-athletes in the United States. Participants (N = 293) from 16 different types of sports at 8 NCAA Division I and III institutions were surveyed. Results indicated gratitude was negatively correlated with burnout and positively correlated with sport satisfaction, suggesting that athletes who reported more general gratitude also experienced lower levels of burnout and greater levels of satisfaction with their college sport experience. Perceived social support was found to be a mediator in both relationships. Limitations and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Shaun C. Tyrance, Henry L. Harris, and Phyllis Post
This study examined the relationship between athletic identity, race, gender, sport, and expectation to play professionally and career planning attitudes (career optimism, career adaptability, and career knowledge) among NCAA Division I college student-athletes. Participants of this study consisted of 538 Division I student-athletes from four Bowl Championship Series institutions. Results of this study found that Division I student-athletes with higher athletic identities had lower levels of career optimism; Division I student-athletes who participated in revenue-producing sports had lower levels of career optimism; and student-athletes with a higher expectation to play professional sports were more likely to be optimistic regarding their future career and displayed higher athletic identities. Statistically significant findings indicated the following gender differences: male Division I student-athletes believed they had a better understanding of the job market and employment trends; males had more career optimism; and females had higher levels of athletic identity than their male counterparts. Implications for counseling student-athletes are addressed.
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.
Richard M. Brede and Henry J. Camp
Educational performances of various types of male student-athletes participating in football and basketball at an NCAA Division I school are compared for each enrollment period during one academic year. These comparisons indicate three basic patterns of educational performance, patterns that involve the differential use among these student-athlete types of extra semesters as well as letter grade and credit hour changes in order to meet eligibility requirements. Meeting eligibility requirements is a year-round struggle for one fourth of the student-athletes studied. We conclude with some suggestions for additional research on student-athlete education.
Jennifer E. Carter and Nancy A. Rudd
Sports have received widespread attention for the risk of disordered eating, but prevalence rates among athletes have varied from one to 62 percent across studies (Beals, 2004). One explanation for this discrepancy has been the tendency for previous studies to select “at-risk” sports for examination. The current study extends prior inquiry by expanding the sample to the entire student-athlete group at Ohio State University. Approximately 800 varsity student-athletes at this large Division I university completed the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Q-EDD; Mintz, O’Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997) in 2001 and 2002, allowing gender and type of sport comparisons. The purposes of the study were to identify at-risk athletes as part of a screening process designed for eating disorder prevention, and to continue to refine the assessment of disordered eating in athletes. Not surprisingly, results showed that subclinical eating problems were more prevalent than clinical eating disorders in athletes, with 19 percent of female athletes and 12 percent of male athletes reporting eating disorder symptoms in year one, and 17 percent of female athletes and nine percent of male athletes in year two. Because the Q-EDD does not fully capture male body image problems, in 2002 questions were added to the Q-EDD that assessed preoccupation with muscularity, and preliminary Endings showed that one percent of male athletes fit a diagnosis of Muscle Dysmorphia. For both years, athletes from lean sports reported significantly more eating disorder symptoms than did athletes from nonlean sports. Specific policies employed by this university and prevention strategies will be discussed.
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.
Robert C. Hilliard, Lorenzo A. Redmond, and Jack C. Watson II
College student-athletes are a population that appear to experience mental illness at rates comparable or higher to their nonathlete peers (e.g., Jolly, 2008 ; Moreland, Coxe, & Yang, 2018 ). Highly regimented schedules, time demands, and pressures to be successful academically and athletically