CitationIverson, Grant L.; Merz, Zachary C.; & Terry, Douglas P. (2021). Playing High School Football Is Not Associated With an Increased Risk for Suicidality in Early Adulthood. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. vol. 31 (6)
AbstractObjective: To determine if playing high school football is associated with suicide ideation between the ages of 24 and 32 years. Design: Data were analyzed from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. This prospective cohort study sampled nationally representative US participants at 4 time points from 1994 to 2008. Setting: In-home assessment. Participants: There were 3147 boys (age: median = 14.9, SD = 1.8) who participated during adolescence in 1994 to 1995 (wave I), of whom 2353 were reinterviewed in 2008 (wave IV, age: median = 29.1, SD = 1.8). Assessment of Risk Factors: Football participation, history of psychological counseling, suicide ideation, and a suicide attempt in the past year during high school. Main Outcome Measures: Lifetime history of depression, suicide ideation within the past year, and feeling depressed in the past 7 days at wave IV. Results: Men who played high school football, compared with those who did not, reported similar rates of lifetime diagnosis of depression, suicide ideation in the past year, and feeling depressed in the past 7 days. Those who played football reported similar rates of suicide ideation in the past year when they were in their early 20s. Individuals who underwent psychological counseling during adolescence were more likely to report a lifetime history of depression and suicide ideation in the past year. Conclusions: Young men who played high school football are not at an increased risk for suicide ideation during both their early 20s and late 20s. By contrast, those who experienced mental health problems in high school were much more likely to experience suicide ideation during their 20s.
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
Author(s)Iverson, Grant L.
Merz, Zachary C.
Terry, Douglas P.