The Role of Stigma and Referral Source in Predicting College Student-Athletes’ Attitudes Toward Psychological Help-Seeking

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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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 Wahto, M.S. and Joshua K. Swift, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK. Jason L. Whipple, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Joshua K. Swift, Ph.D. was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alaska Anchorage at the time of this study, but is currently a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Idaho State University.

Address author correspondence to Joshua K. Swift at Joshua.Keith.Swift@gmail.com.
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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