Mental Health Profiles of Danish Youth Soccer Players: The Influence of Gender and Career Development

Andreas Küttel*, Natalie Durand-Bush, Carsten Hvid Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The purpose of this study was (a) to investigate gender differences in mental health among Danish youth soccer players, (b) to discover the mental health profiles of the players, and (c) to explore how career progression and mental health are related. A total of 239 Danish youth elite soccer players (M = 16.85, SD = 1.09) completed an online questionnaire assessing mental well-being, depression, anxiety, along with other background variables. Female players scored significantly lower on mental well-being and had 4-times higher odds of expressing symptoms of anxiety and depression than males. Athletes’ mental health profiles showed that most athletes experience low depression while having moderate mental well-being. Depression, anxiety, and stress scores generally increased when progressing in age, indicating that the junior-senior transition poses distinct challenges to players’ mental health, especially for female players. Different strategies to foster players’ mental health depending on their mental health profiles are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Sport Psychology
ISSN1932-9261
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Mental Health
  • well-being
  • football
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • career

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