• A longitudinal investigation into well-being and the influence of injury and perceived exertion on female basketball players

      Columbus, Allison; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Athlete mental health and associated components (e.g., ill-being, role of the coach, mental health literacy) have become a focal point in athletics and research, however, little attention has been given to positive mental health (i.e., well-being). The primary objective of this study was to observe variation in university athlete well-being. A secondary purpose was to assess the influence of injury and internal training load (i.e., RPE) on athlete well-being. Using a non-experimental longitudinal research design, female university basketball players (N = 11; Mage = 20.29 years) provided self-report data via the mobile application AthleteMonitoring™ for 22 consecutive weeks. Well-being was assessed using the 7-item Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS; Stewart-Brown et al., 2008). Injury and internal training load data was collected via self-report. Athletes reported ‘average’ well-being across the 22-week data collection period based on SWEMWBS scores (M = 22.76; SD = 1.98). Repeated-measures Analysis of Variance indicated statistically significant differences in well-being (F(3.54, 35.42) = 3.24, p = .027; np2 = .25). Magnitude-based differences showcased considerable variability in individual athlete’s well-being trajectories over 22 weeks. SWEMWBS scores did not differ by injury status of the athlete, nor were they predicted by internal training load. Given the interpretation of aggregate scores and individual trajectories in this study, it is clear that university female basketball athletes experience fluctuations in their well-being. The results of this study support the need for further investigation into athlete well-being and more specifically, the aspects that influence it.