Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Second Committee Member

Michelle Paul

Third Committee Member

Daniel Allen

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Number of Pages



Student-athletes have been identified to evidence similar or higher rates of mental health difficulties and lower levels of mental health engagement as compared with non-athlete peers. Along these lines, sport-specific mental health intervention has been justified by researchers, yet only one randomized clinical trial has been conducted in collegiate student-athletes who have been formally assessed for mental health disorders (i.e., a family behavior therapy as compared with traditional campus counseling as usual; Donohue et al., 2018a). Results of this outcome study demonstrated greater improvements for participants who received the family-based intervention up to 8-months post-randomization. In this clinical trial, the potential influence of supportive others’ (i.e., family, coaches, teammates, intimate partners) on athletes’ mental health was not assessed for the family-based intervention. Participation of the supportive others varied based on the desire of athlete participants to include them and their availability; and occurred in-person, through telephone, and/or video-conference. In the proposed study, the association between supportive others’ participation in athletes’ family behavior therapy and mental health and sport performance outcomes was examined. As hypothesized, results indicated that the number of family behavior intervention sessions attended by athletes was significantly associated with factors that interfere with sport performance. The number of family behavior therapy sessions attended by supportive others with the athletes was not associated with intervention outcomes after the athletes’ attendance to family behavior sessions was considered. However, the number of supportive other types (family, coaches, teammates, intimate partners) involved throughout intervention was significantly correlated with mental health. These results suggest the number of supportive other types involved in athletes’ family behavior therapy, and not their cumulative session attendance to family sessions per se is most important to athletes’ mental health and sport performance.


athlete mental health; performance optimization; supportive others in therapy


Clinical Psychology

File Format


File Size

0.973 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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