Current Sport Psychology Grants | Center for Sport Psychology and Athlete Mental Health

Current Sport Psychology Grants

Student-Athlete Well-Being: PAC-12 Test of the Effectiveness of Bodies in Motion in Reducing Disordered Eating and Body Image Concerns, and Improving Psychological Well-Being, Among Male and Female Student-Athletes. $400,000.00 grant funded by the Pac-12 in association with the University of Arizona (Dr. Daniel Taylor, PI)

Data from the Pac-12 Mental Health Coordinating Unit (MHCU; PI: Taylor) surveillance study has shown that body image and disordered eating concerns (10%-28%) are highly prevalent among the conference's student-athletes (regardless of gender identity). Such eating and body concerns also are related to higher levels of negative affect (e.g., depression) and general psychological distress. In pilot research supported by a grant from the NCAA, the Bodies in Motion (BIM) program, co-developed by our collaborator (Co-I: Trent A. Petrie, Ph.D.), was established as a viable, acceptable, evidence-based intervention to improve the body image and psychological well-being in female-identified collegiate athletes (see Voelker, Petrie, et al., 2019, Body Image). Their qualitative analysis of student athletes' experiences, published in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology in 2021, showed that after completing BIM, student-athletes (a) were more aware of general societal, and sport specific, body pressures, (b) had more positive attitudes toward themselves and their bodies, and (c) had developed new skills (e.g., mindfulness) to be more positive and compassionate with themselves and their bodies. Positive effects from BIM extend up to 6 years after athletes complete the program, with athletes viewing what they learned in BIM as central to successfully transitioning out of collegiate sports. Although tested initially with female-identifying athletes, in this study, we will examine the effectiveness of BIM in improving the body image and eating concerns, and overall psychological well-being, of male and female-identifying athletes. Participating athletes will benefit directly, and immediately, from their involvement in BIM and will provide additional data to inform program roll-out to the entire conference during Year 2 of the project. For more information on Bodies in Motion, visit https://bodiesinmotion.unt.edu/

AAC Student-Athlete Mental Health: Development and Implementation of a Standardized Screening Process. $15,000.00 grant funded by the American Athletic Conference.

Student-athletes' psychological well-being is a major concern and mental health screening represents a best practice in identification and treatment. Unfortunately, a lack of standardization in screening has limited how collegiate athletic conferences are able to respond to, and support, their athletes. Across five AAC schools, we will develop and implement a standardized screening protocol to demonstrate its clinical effectiveness and scalability to the conference, and examine the relationships of athletes' psychological functioning, their perceptions of who/what facilitates help-seeking, and their intentions to seek mental health care. Data will inform conference-level educational programming and policies in athlete mental health.