Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Second Committee Member

Daniel Allen

Third Committee Member

Andrew Freeman

Fourth Committee Member

John Mercer

Number of Pages



Collegiate athletes are often exposed to unique environmental stressors that may negatively impact the way they think, behave, and feel in athletic, academic, and social domains, potentially compromising their performance and mental health when cognitive and behavioral skills are relatively underdeveloped. Behavioral interventions have been shown to enhance cognitive and behavioral skills in persons with assessed mental health deficits in the general population. However, little is known about the relative effects of psychologically-based programs in persons who do not evidence pathology. Along these lines, The Optimum Performance Program in Sports (TOPPS), based on Family Behavior Therapy, was recently developed with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The Optimum Performance Program in Sports has demonstrated preliminary efficacy in student-athletes formally diagnosed with mental health and substance use disorders, but it has not been evaluated in student-athletes who are interested in optimizing their mental health and sport performance with no evidence of pathology. Therefore, in this case examination, an AB experimental design with 1- and 5-month follow-up assessments was utilized to determine the effects of TOPPS on a participant who was interested in optimizing her confidence, motivation, and relationships with coaches and teammates. The participant completed a large battery of psychometrically-validated assessment measures during baseline and follow-ups to assess the presence or absence of mental health disorders, psychiatric functioning, substance use, days employed, STI risk behaviors, extent to which various factors interfered with her sport performance, and her relationships with teammates, coaches, family, and non-teammate friends. Results indicated that the participant evidenced no significant pathology during baseline, and substantial improvements up to 5 months post-intervention in most domains. In light of the results, treatment implications are discussed, emphasizing the development stigma-free, optimization-driven mental health programs for student-athletes, such as TOPPS.


case study; evidence-based; Family Behavior Therapy; FBT; sports; The Optimum Performance Program in Sports


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Clinical Psychology | Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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