-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, April 5 (HealthDay News) -- Current college athletes are
twice as likely to be depressed as former athletes, researchers
The findings suggest the need for further research to learn more
about depression among college athletes, the Georgetown University
For the study, they examined questionnaires completed by 117
current and 163 former college athletes who had participated in
Division I NCAA-sponsored sports. The current athletes played in 10
different sports and the former athletes had played in 15 different
Nearly 17 percent of current athletes had questionnaire scores
consistent with depression, compared with 8 percent of former
athletes, according to the study published online recently in the
"We expected to see a significant increase in depression once athletes graduated, but by comparison it appears the stress of intercollegiate athletics may be more significant than we and others anticipated," senior investigator Dr. Daniel Merenstein, an associate professor of family medicine and human science at Georgetown University Medical Center, said in a university news release.
These stressors include things such as overtraining, injury,
pressure to perform, lack of free time, or trying to juggle
athletics and schoolwork.
"College in general is a potentially stressful time for many students. The additional stress of playing high-level sports appears to add to that stress," Merenstein said.
He advised parents, friends and coaches to pay attention to
changes in behavior, weight and sleep of college athletes, and of
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
college students and depression.
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