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The purpose of this manuscript-style dissertation research was to investigate and report on the mental health conditions that impact collegiate student-athletes, with individual article emphasis conducted on a comparison of stress between males and females, investigating barriers to academic performance, and comparing results to the national college student population. The presence of mental health conditions among collegiate student-athletes poses a threat to higher education by impacting institutional retention rates, decreasing graduation rates, and increasing academic probations across campus. This study utilized the American College Health Association—National College Health Assessment III (ACHA-NCHA III) to survey 89 collegiate student-athletes at a NCAA Division II institution. The findings of this study revealed the most prevalent mental health concerns reported by the collegiate student-athletes to be ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, and PTSD. Collegiate student-athletes reported lower rates for all mental health concerns except ADD/ADHD when compared to the national college student population. The most prevalent barriers to academic performance reported by the collegiate student-athletes were procrastination, stress, anxiety, finances, sleep difficulties, and depression. The results from this study suggest that stress is a part of the college experience for student-athletes as the occurrence of stress was expressed by 93% of the student-athlete participants, who experienced a higher frequency of overall stress and suicide attempts in comparison to the national college student population. However, collegiate student-athletes reported lower levels of depression, psychological distress, anxiety, loneliness, and self-injury when compared to the national college student population. The research findings from this study contribute empirical evidence towards recommendations for intervention strategies to decrease potential academic and mental health barriers among collegiate student-athletes, such as the employment of a sports psychologist, future research to track trends over time, conducting seminars on time management techniques, and teaching student-athletes how to manage stress. Choosing to confront the mental health crisis on college campuses and among collegiate student-athletes is not an easy task as it requires the support and engagement of the entire athletic department, the university administration, and local community partners.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
26 Jan 2023
674 kB



  • Subject
    • Education

  • Committee member
    • Brynn McNamara

    • Sabrina Maginnis

  • Thesis grantor
    • University of North Georgia

  • Advisor
    • Katherine Rose Adams

  • Department
    • Social Foundations Leadership Education

  • Date submitted

    26 January 2023

  • Qualification level
    • Doctoral

  • Keywords