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.
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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.