Call for Papers: Special Issue

Mental Health and College Athlete Well-Being

Brian Hainline, the Chief Medical Officer for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) stated, “student-athletes mental health is an under-recognized health issue, and if managed improperly, leads to poor performance in the classroom, and can potentially lead to life threatening emergencies” (Burnded, 2013). With the increased stress facing college students, mental disorders are appearing more frequently among this population (Mauere & Cramer Roh, 2015) and depression is the most common of all psychological disorders (Mauere & Cramer Roh, 2015). College athletes are known to encounter more unique stressors than their non-athlete peers in the general student body as a result of their relationships with coaches, increased time demands, and difficulties stemming from missing classes for athletics (Davoren & Hwang, 2014).

Cox (2015) reported depression rates among college athletes are as high as 33%. Furthermore, Humphrey et al. (2000) found that 50% of college athletes are overwhelmed and exprssed that stress greatly impacted their overall mental well-being. Stress and depression can be a direct result of participating in athletics especially after suffering a season or career-ending injury (Meeuwisse, Selmer & Hagel, 2003). Research with a sample of over 19,000 college athletes revealed athletic status is a significant predictor of depressive mood symptomology (Davoren & Hwang, 2014). Thus, research that examines college athletes’ mental health and overall well-being as well as interventions that can assist with optimizing positive developmental outcomes is warranted.

This special issue seeks to promote research on mental health and college athlete well-being. Additionally, this special issue seeks to blend academics and practitioners by providing impactful research that can provide those working with this population with practical implications that can assist in enhancing the overall mental health of college athletes.

Scholars are encouraged to submit manuscripts that address one or more of the following topics or related areas:

  • The intersection of mental health and different types of health (e.g., physical, social, etc.)
  • Mental health in relation to different types of abuse (e.g., emotional, physical, etc.)
  • Mental health issues and trends in relation to athletic sub-cultures
  • Mental health and associated challenges with balancing college athlete identities and responsibilities
  • Mental health issues and trends across diverse college athlete demographic groups (e.g., race, gender, religion, sport type, etc.).
  • Best practices, practical implications, and recommendations for improving mental health and overall well-being among college athletes
  • Legal issues associated with mental health policies and outcomes in intercollegiate athletics
  • Comparative studies of college athletes and non-athletes
  • Among other related topics

Manuscripts will be accepted in a variety of formats. The co-editors of this special issue are Sarah Stokowski, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas and Alex Auerbach, PhD, Director of Clinical and Sport Psychology, University of Arizona. Manuscript files (Microsoft Word format only) can be submitted to the Special Issue Guest Editors, Sarah Stokowski, PhD ( and Alex Auerbach ( as well as the JIIA Co-Editors ( and with the subject line of “Special Issue Submission for Mental Health and the College Athlete Well-Being”.

The submissions should include an email message stating this manuscript has not been simultaneously submitted for publication and/or published elsewhere. Manuscripts must conform to the current “Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.” Manuscripts must include an abstract of approximately 150-200 words and complete references. Each manuscript must be typewritten, double-spaced throughout, use “Times New Roman” font (size 12), and utilize one inch margins on the top, bottom, and sides. Authors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce copyrighted information and materials. Submitting a manuscript indicates the author(s) agree(s) to transfer of copyright to The College Sport Research Institute (CSRI). The publication agreement can be found at

Manuscripts submitted that follow the submission guidelines are initially reviewed at the editorial level. Submissions found to be outside the scope of JIIA, incomplete or incorrectly formatted per JIIA submission guidelines or APA standards, or not meeting standards of sufficient quality may be subject to desk rejection. Submissions meeting these criteria are reviewed by a minimum of two reviewers via blind review procedures. JIIA strives to return submissions to authors within 30 days of submission. Submissions to this special issue will be accepted through October 1, 2019. Authors will be notified of the status of their manuscript by November 5, 2019. Accepted manuscripts will be published in December 2019. Anyone interested in serving as a reviewer for this special issue is encouraged to send a brief interest statement along with a current vita to the guest co-editors.

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