This study published in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma assessed the prevalence of interpersonal violence (IV) and its association with mental health disorders in U.S elite athletes. CHILD USA surveyed athletes with the collaboration of USOPC non-governing bodies (NGBs). Access the full article

Key Findings & Recommendations

  • 57.8% of the sample reported IV in sport
  • Most experienced multiple forms
  • Significant relationship between experiencing IV and diagnosis of one or more psychiatric disorders
  • Need for improvements in prevention and detection of IV in sport

Prevalence of IV forms

  • Psychological violence: 54.5%
  • Physical Violence: 6.9%
  • Sexual Violence: 8.8%
  • Significant overlap between different types was found; athletes often experience multiple forms simultaneously.
  • Environments conducive to one form of violence are likely conducive to others, amplifying harm

Association with mental health disorders

  • Athletes who reported abuse within sports were 2x more likely to report a mental health disorder compared to athletes who did not report abuse.
  • The most commonly reported disorders were anxiety, depression, and PTSD
  • Child sexual abuse (CSA) was associated with the most mental health disorders. Athletes reporting CSA were 8x more likely to report a mental health disorder.
  • Those who reported being deprived of food as an athlete were 7x more likely to report an eating disorder