Impact of Emotion Regulation on Mental Health of Japanese University Athletes
Athletes’ mental health is a great concern for coaches, supporters, and researchers in the field of sports science. To prevent mental health problems in athletes, emotion regulation strategies are considered effective for coping with stressors. Emotion regulation is defined as the regulation of thoughts or behaviors that influence the emotions. Emotions may influence not only the mental health but also performance in competitive sports. Therefore, we examined the impact of emotion regulation on the mental health of Japanese university athletes. We collected data from 927 Japanese university athletes (535 male and 392 female). We collected information on athletes’ demographics, emotion regulation (Emotion Regulation Questionnaire: ERQ), and mental health (Self-report Depression Scale: SDS, and General Health Questionnaire-30; GHQ-30). A regression analysis showed that reappraisal had a significant negative effect on SDS (β = .−44, p < .001, R2 = .19) and GHQ-30 scores (β = .−26, p < .001, R2 = .08) but suppression did not affect either of them. This indicates that athletes using reappraisal have a good mental health, thereby suggesting that emotion regulation may contribute to the maintenance of athletes’ mental health. Thus, we concluded that emotion regulation has an impact on the mental health of Japanese university athletes. Sports coaches and supporters of athletes should pay substantial attention to athletes’ emotion regulation strategies to maintain their mental health and enhance their performance.
KeywordsEmotion regulation Mental health University athletes
This study was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 18K17802 (PI: Yujiro Kawata). We thank all participants for sharing their time and data used in this study.
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