Adverse Childhood Experiences and Student-Athlete Mental Health: A Social Work in Sports Perspective


  • Marion Bennett School of Social Work, University of Alabama


adverse childhood experiences, athlete mental health, trauma, social work, sport ethic model


The present discussion reviews the current literature on the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on college student-athlete mental health and advocates for the inclusion of trauma informed mental health social work practice in addressing the needs of this uniquely at-risk, and vulnerable population. The sport ethic model is presented as a cognitive lens through which social workers may better understand the athletic context. Sports social work practitioners, skilled in trauma informed mental health practice, focus on the personal and contextual influences that potentially affect athlete mental health and well-being. In this way, sports social workers are uniquely qualified to address challenges of the athletic experience and provide athletes with the resources and support needed to successfully thrive in the athletic context.







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