First Advisor

Gary Brodowicz

Date of Publication

Summer 7-13-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Studies


OHSU-PSU School of Public Health




College athletes -- Wounds and injuries -- Psychological aspects, College athletes -- Social networks, College athletes -- Mental health, Mental depression, Sports injuries



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 55 pages)


The way in which an athlete responds to the injury--emotionally, behaviorally, and cognitively--can significantly affect the athlete's mental health in a negative way if not handled appropriately. There are different forms of social support that are known to be helpful with coping during specific stages of injury. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between perceived levels of social support and depression symptomatology post injury in Division 1 collegiate athletes at Portland State University (PSU).

Participants were PSU student athletes (n=115). Variables: social support amount (SSQN), social support satisfaction (SSQS), and depression symptomatology (CESD-R) score. Selected injured participants (n=3) completed a 20-minute interview regarding their injury, their social support, and how each affected their mental health.

Females reported more social support sources (SSQN) as well as a higher satisfaction of their social support (SSQS) than males. Non-injured student athletes appeared to have fewer social support sources as well as less social support satisfaction than injured student athletes. Of the total study sample, 27.8 percent met the criteria for some kind of depressive symptom concern.

The study confirmed gender characteristics regarding help-seeking behavior, trends of depression symptomatology, and social support preferences. Overall the current study's findings indicate a need for further research regarding social support and depression symptomatology, examining injured and non-injured student athletes.


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