Objective: This study examined trends in functionally impairing depression, significant anxiety, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts among college student-athletes across time, racial/ethnic group, and student-athlete standing. Participants: The sample consisted of 39,840 White, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American, and Multiracial students who reported participating in “varsity” level college athletics in the past 12 months during the Spring 2010-2015 administrations of the American College of Health Association National College Health Assessment II. Methods: Chi-square and difference in proportion tests compared mental health rates across time, racial/ethnic groups, and student-athlete status (student-athlete versus non-athlete). Results: Findings suggested a lack of differences in mental health rates between 2010 and 2015, with the exception of a higher rate of anxiety for White student-athletes in 2015. Racial/ethnic comparisons pointed to relatively consistent heightened risks for depression and suicide concerns among Asian/Pacific Islander and Multiracial student-athletes compared to White student-athletes. Student-athlete status appeared most consistently to benefit White student-athletes, whereas there was evidence of potential liability of student-athlete status for Asian/Pacific Islander student-athletes. Conclusions: Results make the case for adopting a racially/ethnically aware cultural lens when conceptualizing mental health risk and resilience among student-athletes.
- mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health