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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Trevor Roiger


Depression, concussion, CES-D, student-athlete


CONTEX: Depression, affecting millions of Americans each year including collegiate student-athletes, can be caused by a wide range of circumstances including sport-related injuries.
OBJECTIVE: To longitudinally examine the extent to which NCAA Division I studentathletes demonstrate post-injury depressive symptoms.
DESIGN: Quasi-experimental, longitudinal
SETTING: NCAA Division I collegiate athletics.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Concussed, injured/non-concussed, and healthy Division I collegiate student-athletes (age 18-22) competing in football, wrestling, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball.
INTERVENTION(S): Participants completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) at baseline, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months post-injury.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Difference in depressive scores between healthy participants, concussed participants, and injured non concussed participants. Longitudinal changes in post-concussion depressive symptomology were also examined.
RESULTS: Results of this study indicated no differences in baseline depressive symptoms between subgroups. Depressive symptoms in concussed and injured nonconcussed participants increased significantly from baseline to their highest point one week post-injury. Depressive symptoms in the concussion group decreased significantly between 1 week and 1 month, 1 week and 3 months, and 1 month and 3 months. Also, the concussed group showed significant differences between baseline and 1 week. The injured/non-concussed group showed significant differences between baseline and 1 week and baseline and 1 month. There were no significant differences in depressive symptoms between concussed participants and injured, non-concussed participants at any of the post-injury time points.
CONCLUSIONS: Depression may present as a post-injury sequelae in Division I collegiate athletes. Athletes that sustain a concussion or who sustain a musculoskeletal injury need to be observed carefully for signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of depression. Tools such as the CES-D can be valuable in the recognition and management of depressive symptoms in these individuals.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

National Collegiate Athletic Association. Division I.
Sports injuries.
College athletes -- Psychology.
Depression, Mental.
Brain -- Concussion.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 30-35).



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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