The purpose of this study was to investigate the directional relationship between student-athletes' degree of mental health stigma, help-seeking attitudes, depression, anxiety, and life stress scores. This investigation tested the theoretical model that student-athletes' (N = 621) degree of mental health stigma (as measured by the Perceived Devaluation-Discrimination Scale – Adapted [PDD-A; Eisenberg et al., 2009]) contributed to their attitudes towards help-seeking (as measured by the Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help – Short Form [ATSPPH-SF; Fisher & Farina, 1995]) and levels of depression (as measured by the Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 [PHQ-9; Kroenke et al., 2001]), anxiety (as measured by the Generalized Anxiety Disorder - 7 [GAD-7; Spitzer et al., 2006]), and life stress (as measured by the College Student-Athlete Life Stress Scale [CSALSS; Lu et al., 2012]). Specifically, the researcher tested the hypothesized directional relationship that student-athletes with a greater amount of mental health stigma would have (a) decreased positive help-seeking attitudes and (b) increased levels of depression, anxiety, and life stress. The results of the structural equation model (SEM) analyses identified that student-athletes' amount of mental health stigma contributed to help-seeking attitudes (25.6% of the variance), but not levels of depression (.16% of the variance), anxiety (.09% of the variance), or life stress (.81% of the variance). Specifically, student-athletes' degree of mental health stigma shared a strong negative relationship (-.506) with attitudes towards seeking professional psychological help. Further, the results identified that personal stigma mediates the relationship between public stigma and help-seeking attitudes. Implications of the findings include (a) greater knowledge of the importance student-athletes' mental health stigma and attitudes toward receiving help; (b) increased understanding for counselors of student-athletes mental health needs; and (c) insight into practices for institutions of higher education as they implement mental health initiatives within intercollegiate athletics.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Counselor Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Tabet, Saundra, "An Investigation of College Student-Athletes' Mental Health Stigma, Help-Seeking Attitudes, Depression, Anxiety, and Life Stress Scores Using Structural Equation Modeling" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6436.