Empirical Justification for the Involvement of Athletes’ Supportive Others When Conducting Sport Specific Mental Health Interventions



athlete, mental wellness, mental health, family therapy, sport performance


Collegiate athletes evidence similar severity of mental health symptoms as non-athlete peers, but lower mental health treatment engagement. Only one randomized clinical trial has occurred in collegiate athletes who have been assessed for mental health disorders. In this study collegiate athletes who received sport-specific psychological intervention that was supported by the athletes’ significant others showed decreased severity of psychiatric symptoms and interferences in sport performance up to 8-months post-randomization. The influence of collegiate athletes’ significant others on outcomes was not examined in this study and is the aim of the current study. Results indicated the number of significant other types involved in treatment was associated with decreased psychiatric symptoms but not interferences with sport performance. Session attendance of collegiate athletes was associated with reduced interferences in sport performance but not decreased psychiatric symptomology; suggesting collegiate athletes are more likely to improve mental health when a variety of significant others are engaged in psychological intervention.






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