Date of Award

Spring 5-6-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Elizabeth Allan

Second Committee Member

Leah Hakkola

Third Committee Member

Kathleen Gillon

Additional Committee Members

Katherine Egan Cunningham

Adam Howard

Tarja Raag


Objective: Collegiate-athletes are vulnerable to mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, yet very little is known about what variables might predict the use of on-campus mental health services among them. The purpose of this study was to investigate the utility of Andersen’s Behavioral Model (ABM) in predicting the use of on-campus mental health services by student-athletes using data from the Spring 2019 American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment IIc (ACHA-NCHA IIc). Participants: The sample consisted of college student participants in the Spring 2019 administration of the ACHA-NCHA IIc survey (n= 67,973) with 3,536 students who reported participating in “varsity” level college athletics in the previous 12 months. Methods: The ABM enabled selection of predisposing, enabling, and need predictor variables utilizing the Spring 2019 ACHA-NCHA IIc survey. Analyses were conducted individually and collectively using descriptive statistics, Chi-squares, and logistic regressions to test for differences in use of on-campus mental health services. Results: Use of on-campus mental health services was similar between college student athletes and their non-athlete peers. Results indicate that the Andersen Model is a useful model for framing the relationship between use of on-campus mental health services among college student-athletes and the ABM variables. Need factors were more likely to predict use of mental health counseling services while Enabling variables were the least likely to predict these impacts. Comparisons pointed to heightened risks for the subgroups of Latinx, Native American/Native Hawaiians, males, heterosexuals, those attending public colleges and universities, and first year student-athletes for being the least likely to utilize on-campus mental health services. Conclusions: Findings in this investigation have implications for prevention, practice, and future research and warrant increased attention and targeted outreach to those student-athletes recognized for being most at-risk for not accessing on-campus mental health services. A multifaceted approach that decreases stigma and improves attitudes towards utilizing on campus mental health services could have the most meaningful effect on encouraging service use and bolstering student-athlete mental wellness. Results make the case for adopting an inclusive lens across demographic and organizational culture variables when conceptualizing mental health risk and resilience among student-athletes.

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