Preferred Name

Parker Leap, M.Ed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Robert J. Harmison

Anne Stewart

Kelly Atwood


Research indicates that student-athletes face unique stressors as they transition to college. Resilience programming has been shown to have mental health benefits with the general college student population; however, few studies have examined efficacy of resilience programming with college-student athletes during their transition to college. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a novel, culturally-resonant, NCAA grant-funded resilience course on scores of resilience, student athlete mental health, and sport well-being. This study also sought to assess the feasibility of this course and explore participants’ subjective experiences. A mixed methods intervention research design was utilized and included various quantitative and qualitative measures to evaluate research questions. Fifteen incoming first-year NCAA Division I football student-athletes participated in the intervention. The results provided initial evidence that this course may contribute to deepened relationships and enhanced coping skills with male-identified athletes during the transition to college athletics. This study has implications for how practitioners, coaches, and athletics administration staff incorporate culturally-resonant interventions to enhance student-athlete mental health and well-being. Future studies should seek to examine the effectiveness of this course on sport-specific markers of mental health and well-being within a larger sample. The results also indicated a need to develop sport-specific measures of individual resilience as well as further explore unique factors underlying the transition to college experience for student-athletes



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