Award Date

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Bradley Donohue

Second Committee Member

Daniel Allen

Third Committee Member

Shane Kraus

Fourth Committee Member

John Mercer

Number of Pages



Collegiate sports are growing in popularity (National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2022) and pressure to perform (van Raalte & Posteher, 2019); leading to difficulties in collegiate athletes’ mental health (Rice et al., 2016), particularly in regard to increased substance use (Wilson et al., 2021). Current literature demonstrates that existing substance use assessments are most likely not answered truthfully by athletes (van den Berg et al., 2018), are not applicable to real-world contexts, can be intrusive, and are expensive to administer. In the current study, psychometric properties of items from a self-report measure of substance use interference with sport training and competition were examined in a sample of collegiate athletes. The intraclass correlation coefficient for one-week test-retest reliability of scores on this measure demonstrated good reliability (ICC = .74, 95% CI [.57, .85], p < .001). Pearson correlation coefficients indicated statistically significant positive relationships between SIC Substance Use Item scores and a measure of mental health symptomology (i.e., Symptom Checklist – 90 – R; r = .255, n = 280, p < .001) and a psychometrically validated measure of substance use frequency (i.e., Timeline Follow-Back; r = .255, n = 74, p = .014). An independent samples t-test suggested there was marginally no statistically significant difference in scores for the experimental items between athletes who were diagnosed with a current substance use disorder as compared to athletes who were not (M = 1.48, SD = .58; t (35.15) = -1.43, p = .08, one-tailed). Results preliminarily support reliability and validity of the experimental measure (i.e., coined the Sport Interference Checklist’s Substance Use screen) for use in collegiate athletes, suggesting clinical utility for providers wanting to screen the impact of substance use in collegiate athletes.Keywords: athlete mental health, athlete substance use, substance use assessment


athlete mental health; athlete substance use; substance use assessment



Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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