Prevalence of Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent Athletes


The objective of this study is to measure the prevalence and demographic predictors of depressive symptoms in a diverse group of adolescent athletes. Retrospective chart review of demographic and Patient Health Questionnaire-Adolescent (PHQ-A) data obtained during a mass pre-participation physical exam (PPE) was examined. Independent variables included race and sex. A total of 16.9% (n = 115) of students had clinically meaningful depressive symptoms, while 2.5% (n = 23) reported having thoughts that they would be bett er off dead or of hurting themselves. Of those who had moderate to severe levels of depressive symptoms, 25.8% (n = 31) were Black females, signifi cantly more than any other race-sex group. A majority of our sample did not have depressive symptoms but a plan for those in severe mental distress must be in place. Prevalence of adolescent depressive symptoms, mental health emergency preparedness and culturally sensitive interventions deserve further investigation. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 31(3):193–198, 2022)

Key words: depression, athlete, mental health

SKU: JSOA-2022-31-3-11 Categories: , Tags: , ,

Ashley Long, PhD, LAT, ATC, CBIS; Allison Bickett, PhD; and David Price, MD