Student-athlete health and well-being: looking at the past to inform the future

Kristen N. Lenahan */**, Miguel Rueda */*** and Theresa D. Hernández */**/***

(*) University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
(**) Department of Psychology and Neurosciences, University of Colorado, USA
(***) Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, USA


N. Lenahan, K., Rueda, M., D. Hernández, T. (2022). Student-athlete health and well-being: looking at the past to inform the future. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 53(5), 459-474. doi:10.7352/IJSP.2022.53.459


Currently, there is a lack of literature assessing former student-athletes’ health and well-being after their collegiate careers. There is conflicting evidence concern- ing how former athletes maintain their health compared to non-athletes. This study aimed to measure student-athlete and non-athlete student alumni on measures of health and well-being in an observational nature at a single time-point. A total of 44 student-athlete and 65 non-athlete student alumni participated by completing a self-report survey. Few differences were found between them, with both groups re- porting healthy scores on all measures. A group difference was found on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, with former athletes reporting higher daytime sleepiness. A sex dif- ference was found within controls on the Grit Scale, with females reporting higher grittiness. The results of this study suggest few differences in health status between these groups. Further research is warranted to fully assess former student-athlete health and wellness over time, in a systematized, long-term, prospective manner.

Keywords: Student Athlete, Health, Wellness, Alumni