Despite some prominent cases, mental disorders are rarely reported in football and other sports. Players may be protected from mental ill-health by regular physical activity levels, team support mechanisms or the privileged lifestyle associated with professional football. But it could also be that people with a predisposition for mental disorders do not become high-level athletes. Furthermore, the stigma attached to mental health issues makes it an under-investigated and under-reported area in football (and in sport in general). A limited number of scientific studies has investigated in this field and only one epidemiological study examines psychological disorders of elite football players. In these studies, we examine the mental health and the protective- and risk factors of former elite football players of the German Bundesliga and of currently active female football players of the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga.
Depression and psychotherapeutic treatment needs during and after Bundesliga careers of female and male elite football players
Duration: 2013 – 2016
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Astrid Junge
Co-Investigator: Birgit Prinz, Dipl.-Psych. (M.Sc. equiv. Psych.)
Funding body: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)