Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Graham Carpenter

Second Committee Member

Steven Farias


College student-athletes are having an increasingly amount of mental health concerns recently at an alarming rate. Therefore, researchers should attempt to better understand how student-athletes can cope with their mental health problems to improve their mental and physical well-being. The researcher administered a questionnaire to 300 college students, 150 student-athletes and 150 non-athletes from the University of the Pacific using various modified scales examining emotional intelligence, depression, anxiety, coping strategies, intentions to seek help, self-stigma, public stigma, social network stigma, alcohol consumption, sleep deprivation, and communication competence. The data were analyzed to determine the severity of student-athletes’ mental health and the effect emotional intelligence, perceived stigmas, intention to seek help, and communication competence has on their depression and anxiety compared to their non-athlete counterparts. Emotional intelligence has a significant positive relationship with depression, anxiety, and intention to seek help. Therapy has a significant positive relationship in reducing anxiety and depression symptoms as well. Communication competence also has a significant positive relationship with intention to seek help. In addition, the correlation analysis found a significant positive relationship between low emotional intelligence and negative coping strategies such as substance abuse, self-blame, and denial. These results suggests that a student-athlete’s ability to engage in high levels of communication competence and openly share concerns about their depression and anxiety can contribute to important relationships between emotional intelligence, therapy, and intentions to seek help to reduce these mental health problems. This study also determines that open communication about depression and anxiety can decrease engaging in negative coping strategies and the perceived stigmas that surrounds mental health.





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