Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Counselor Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Suzanne Dugger

Second Advisor

John Dugger

Third Advisor

Marc Showalter

Relational Format



Given that college athletes focus a great deal of time on physical wellness, some might assume that they tend to enjoy higher levels of wellness than their non-athlete counterparts on campus. However, Watson and Kissinger (2007) found that the average wellness scores were higher for the undergraduate non-athlete students when compared to college athletes. More specifically, researchers have found that female collegiate athletes are more susceptible than male athletes to depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and eating disorders and report higher levels of stress (Brunet, 2010; Haupt, 1993; Hudd et al., 2000). In addition, there is a lack of research examining the best practices regarding interventions to help female collegiate athletes deal with their wellness issues. Therefore, this study was completed to determine whether a counseling-based second-order factor wellness intervention had an effect on the personal wellness scores of female collegiate athletes. Using a quasi-experimental, posttest-only control group design, a sample size of 66 female collegiate athletes was recruited. The participants were randomly assigned to the treatment or control group by sport. Participants in the treatment group participated in a 1-hour second-order factor wellness workshop. All participants were administered the Five Factor Wellness Inventory (FFWEL; Myers & Sweeney, 2005) to assess levels of wellness and the control group scores was used as a baseline measure. Data analysis involved using independent samples t-tests to determine the effect of the wellness workshop. The findings indicate that the female collegiate athletes who participated in a counseling-based second-order factor wellness workshop reported significantly higher levels of Total Wellness on the full FFWEL than those female athletes who did not participate in the wellness workshop. However, not all the second-order factors and third-order factors on the FFWEL produced significant results. The implications of these findings are intended to assist coaches, athletic staff, and counselors as they work with female collegiate athletes and for female athletes as they seek to increase their wellness levels and thereby improve their athletic and academic performance.

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