Mental Toughness as a Predictor for Pre-Season Depression and Anxiety Symptoms, and Changes Over the Course of an Athletic Season
Term of Award
Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Health Sciences and Kinesiology
Dr. Jessica Mutchler
Committee Member 1
Dr. Brandonn Harris
Committee Member 2
Dr. Chad Asplund
Background: Mental toughness (MT) has been considered necessary for individuals to be successful in the athletic setting. A connection has been theorized between MT and mental health. Purpose: The purpose was to investigate if MT could be utilized as a predictor of the presence of depression and/or anxiety symptoms. This study also explored if MT, and depression/anxiety symptoms change over the course of a competitive season. Methods: 43 individuals (19.42 ± 1.26 years) participating in a fall team sport from the same Division I University participated in the study. Data was captured during pre-season, high stakes, and end of season, and included: demographic information, Mental Toughness Index (MTI), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item (GAD-7), and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Data Analysis: Separate linear regressions determined if there was a relationship between pre-season MTI and GAD-7/PHQ-9 scores. Changes in MTI, PHQ-9, and GAD-7 scores were determined using t-tests. Results: A significant, weak inverse relationship was identified between pre-season MTI scores and pre-season GAD-7 (r = -0.315; p = 0.020) and PHQ-9 (r = -0.318; p = 0.019) scores. MTI significantly predicted GAD-7 scores (β = -.315, p = 0.04) and PHQ-9 scores (β = -0.318, p = 0.038). High-stakes PHQ-9 scores were significantly greater (p = 0.026) than pre-season scores. Conclusions: This study supports the use of the MTI as a supplementary screening tool but does not support the replacement of the PHQ-9/GAD-9. It may be appropriate to administer the PHQ-9/GAD-7 during varying time points over the course of a competitive season.
Bohannan, Colleen J., "Mental Toughness as a Predictor for Pre-Season Depression and Anxiety Symptoms, and Changes Over the Course of an Athletic Season" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1890.
Research Data and Supplementary Material