Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Second Committee Member

Daniel Allen

Third Committee Member

Michelle G. Paul

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Pharr

Number of Pages



The present study examines psychometric properties of the Symptom Checklist 90 – Revised (SCL-90-R; Derogatis, 1994) in collegiate athletes. The SCL-90-R is one of the most widely utilized measures of broad psychiatric distress. Current literature, however, suggests its factor structure varies across populations (Ardakani et al., 2016; Bakhshaie et al., 2011; Olsen et al., 2004; Ronan et al., 2000; Sereda & Dembitskyi, 2016; Smits et al., 2014; Urbán et al., 2016). Although the SCL-90-R has been previously utilized in studies involving athletes, the psychometric properties of this scale have yet to be investigated in this population. This study examined the SCL-90-R factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in 311 collegiate athletes. Several frequently reported factor structures were evaluated to determine best fit in this population, including the original nine factor, one-factor, eight-factor, and bi-factor models. Although none of the tested models reached reasonable or good fit based on the CFI criteria (Hu & Bentler, 1999), the bi-factor model was determined to demonstrate the best fit across RMSEA (.06) and AIC (55951) criteria. Explained common variance of the global factor is 73%, reflecting that the SCL-90-R has a stronger general global factor relative to the specific construct factors. In line with previous research, several items did not significantly load on the designated psychoticism (Bakhshaie et al., 2011; Cyr et al., 1985; Rief & Fichter, 1992; Rössler et al., 2007; Ruis et al., 2014) and anxiety (Clark & Friedman, 1983; Hoffmann & Overall, 1978; Holcomb et al., 1983; Rief & Fichter, 1992) subscales, suggesting possible low construct validity and need for reformulation. Present study responds to a call from researchers to address the lack of validated measures of mental health and wellness in athletes (Breslin et al., 2017; Hill et al., 2016; Lundqvist, 2011; Moesch et al., 2018). Although the SCL-90-R remains to be clinically useful as it covers a wide range of psychological symptoms, is relatively easy to complete, and is a good tool for repeated measurement and symptom severity, future studies should examine revised symptom dimensions of the scale in clinical and non-clinical samples.


assessment; athlete mental health; CFA; SCL-90-R


Clinical Psychology

File Format


File Size

802 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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