Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Taking a timeout to ensure well-being: Social work involvement in college sports
by Moore, Matthew Allen, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2015, 154; 3701062
Abstract (Summary)

Background: Participation in college athletics comes with inherent risks. Many of these risks relate to the psychosocial safety and well-being of college athletes. These risks include depression, suicide, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, and the development of an eating disorder. This study specifically examined the current state of psychosocial needs amongst college athletes, the availability of services that address psychosocial needs, the comfort level college athletes have with seeking services, and the identification of barriers that influence whether or not a college athlete seeks necessary help.

Methods: This study used a web-based survey to gather information from a proportionate stratified random sample of both college athletic directors (N = 132) and college athletes (N = 349) across all NCAA division levels. Descriptive statistics, parametric tests, and multivariate tests were used to analyze the research questions. This study used NCAA division level and the profile of a college athlete’s sport as independent variables. The researcher created composite scores for athletic, academic, and psychosocial services to serve as dependent variables. The researcher also created a composite score for perceived barriers.

Results: There were multiple significant findings for this research study. One key finding was that Division I and Division II college athletes had significantly higher psychosocial needs than Division III college athletes. Another key finding was that Division I college athletes experienced significantly lower levels of comfort in seeking psychosocial services than Division II and Division III college athletes. Furthermore, Division I college athletes reported significantly higher levels of barriers to seeking necessary services than Division II and Division III college athletes.

Implications: These significant findings point clearly to the fact that more must be done to ensure the psychosocial safety and well-being of college athletes. This includes athletic departments more clearly understanding the needs of their college athletes, having services more readily available, finding ways to promote a college athlete’s disclosure of a psychosocial risk, and working to address current barriers that prevent college athletes from seeking help. One idea for improving the current state of services explored in this research is the interprofessional collaboration of social workers with college athletic departments.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sullivan, W. Patrick
Commitee: Kim, Hea-Won, Pike, Cathy, Urtel, Mark
School: Indiana University
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sports Management, Social work, Higher education
Keywords: College athlete, Psychosocial risk, Social work, Sport
Publication Number: 3701062
ISBN: 978-1-321-71465-4
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