Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology & Neuroscience

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Whisman

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Stallings

Third Advisor

Dr. Tereasa Nugent

Abstract

The primary objectives of this study were to examine the associations between sports participation, self-esteem, and major depression in adolescents. Specifically, the study examined (a) the bivariate associations between sports participation and depression; (b) whether gender moderated the association between sports participation and depression; and (c) whether self-esteem accounted for the association between sports participation and depression. Concerning potential bivariate associations, it was hypothesized that the number of years of participation in sports other than gym in school would be negatively associated with prevalence of major depression. Finally, it was hypothesized that self-esteem would account for the association between sports participation and major depression. The aims and hypotheses were evaluated in a United States probability sample of 6,445 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 18. Consistent with study hypotheses, results suggested that the number of years of sports participation was significantly and negatively associated with 12-month prevalence of major depression and that self-esteem partly accounted for this association. However, there was no evidence that gender moderated the association between sports participation and major depression.

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