Year of Publication

2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Education

Department

Kinesiology and Health Promotion

First Advisor

Dr. Heather Erwin

Abstract

This study explored student-athletes’ attitudes, stigmas, and preferences toward mental health and sport psychology services. Previous research has identified that student-athletes report similar rates of distress compared to the general student population (Davoren & Hwang, 2014; Frank, Hautzinger & Beckmann, 2013). While student-athletes are in need of mental health services, previous research has also found that student-athletes can benefit from the use of sport psychology services. Previous research has demonstrated the need to support student-athletes as people, students, and athletes (Andersen, Miles, Robinson, & Mahoney, 2004; Bond, 2002; Friesen & Orlick, 2010; Miller & Kerr, 2002). However, not all athletic departments offer mental health and sport psychology services for their student-athletes. Additionally, student-athletes, coaches, and athletic departments, often stigmatize mental health and sport psychology services which results in underutilization. In order to better understand the need and preferences of using these services from a student-athlete’s perspective, this study surveyed 174 iv NCAA Division 1 athletes. The findings of this study revealed that student-athletes were more likely to seek mental health and sport psychology services if they had a) positive attitudes toward seeking help, b) low levels of self-stigma and c) services accessible within their athletic department.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2017.461

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