Post-Season Depression, but not Anxiety, Differs from In-Season Status in NCAA DIII Lacrosse Student-Athletes
Objective: While mental health among collegiate athletes is receiving increased attention, research on when student-athletes suffer the most from anxious or depressive thoughts is limited. Therefore, the purpose of the study is to examine how anxiety and depression levels change in student-athletes between in-season, and after completion of the playoffs (after-season), timepoints.
Design: The present study was a pre-post study design with a repeated measures assessment six weeks apart that collected data using the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Harvard Department of Psychiatry/National Depression Screening Day Scale (HANDS). The survey set was delivered using the Qualtrics Platform (Qualtrics International Inc, Provo, UT, USA).
Subjects/Setting: Participants were recruited from the Rochester Institute of Technology Men’s Lacrosse team. In total, twenty-eight out of fifty-seven eligible anonymously completed the demographic information, BAI, and HANDS for both timepoints.
Statistical Analysis Performed: Demographic information was compiled with descriptive statistics. The BAI and the HANDS were scored according to directions.18 In-season and afterseason scores were compared with Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test and with repeated measures analysis of variance to control for year of study or college of academic study. Demographics and baseline scores were also compared between those who completed both the survey set timepoints and those who only completed the in-season set. BAI and HANDS scores were compared for demographic groups by categorizing the college of study as engineering versus non-engineering, as well as year of study by pre-senior (first, second, and third year students) versus seniors and graduates.
Results: BAI in-season scores were significantly higher in lower years of academic study (first, second, and third) compared to higher years (fourth and fifth). HANDS scores significantly changed over time, however not when controlling for years of academic study or college of academic study. Although the data provided evidence for a significant change in anxiety over time using a general linear model, it did not hold true when controlling for the time to complete the survey.
Conclusions: Future studies could examine how better time management and mental health resources need to be allocated to younger student-athletes who are trying to navigate balancing school and sports.
Health and Well-being Management (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Wegmans School of Health and Nutrition (CHST)
Spillane, Jimmy, "Post-Season Depression, but not Anxiety, Differs from In-Season Status in NCAA DIII Lacrosse Student-Athletes" (2022). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus