Student Athletes And Mental Health: An Exploration Of Potential Hurdles To Student Success

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amber Lorean Daniel (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Alex F. Howard

Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of mental illness in student athletes and their help seeking behaviors in order to improve the support for extended resources. Methodology: In the fall of 2017, a campus-wide health assessment was administered via email at a mid-size university in the South-East region of the U.S. The survey included 63 items, capturing demographics and history of mental health challenges. Students were asked about the occurrence of: overwhelming anxiety; depression; and suicidality, within the last 12 months. Students that provided a positive response to either of these items was then asked about their mental health help seeking behavior. Analyses include simple descriptive statistics as well as rate ratios. Results: More than 1,800 students participated in the assessment, of which 118 were student athletes. Among student athletes that participated, 78 identified as women, 31 identified as non-white, and 93 were age 17-20. Student athletes had significantly lower rates of depression, yet slightly higher rates of suicidality. Mental health help seeking was 38% lower among student athletes when compared to non-student athletes. Conclusions: This study supports previous findings that student athletes have comparable rates of mental illness and seek help less than non-athletes.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Daniel, A. (2018). "Student Athletes And Mental Health: An Exploration Of Potential Hurdles To Student Success." Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2018
Student athletes and mental illness, Suicidality, Student athlete resources, Depression and anxiety in student athletes, Help seeking behavior

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