Depressive Symptoms in Danish Elite Athletes Using the Major Depressive Inventory (MDI) and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)

Andreas Küttel*, Anna Katarina Melin, Carsten Hvid Larsen, Mia Beck Lichtenstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The prevalence of depressive symptoms among athletes is an ongoing debate in the scientific literature. The aim of the current study was to assess the prevalence of depressive symptoms in Danish elite athletes and to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Major Depressive Inventory (MDI) and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) in athletes. The total sample comprised 996 athletes from two cross-sectional studies using the MDI (n = 409) and the CES-D (n = 587). Using the original cut-off points, the MDI found 8.6% and the CES-D found 22.0% at risk of depression. Using alternative cut-off points recommended in the literature, both instruments detected 10-11% of athletes at risk of depression. No statistically significant differences were found related to age, injury history, and type of sport between high risk and low risk groups, whereas female gender was identified as a risk factor for higher depressive symptoms. Principal component analyses confirmed a single factor structure in both instruments with sufficient item loadings on the first component and Cronbach α values of .89 and .88. We recommend regular screening of depressive symptoms in elite athletes, with MDI and CES-D as reliable instrument for that purpose.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
ISSN2596-741X
Publication statusSubmitted - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Athletes
  • Prevalence
  • Assessment
  • Reliability

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