Mental ill health in professional esports athletes: Prevalence and relationships

Birch, P. D. J., Sharpe, B. T., Ortiz de Gortari, A., Arumuham, A. and Smith, M. J. (2022) Mental ill health in professional esports athletes: Prevalence and relationships. In: ERNC 22: Esports Research Network Conference, 21 - 23 November 2022, Jönköping,Sweden.

[thumbnail of Birch, P. D. J., Sharpe, B. T., Ortiz de Gortari, A., Arumuham, A. and Smith, M. J. (2022) Mental ill health in professional esports athletes: Prevalence and relationships. ERNC 22: Esports Research Network Conference, Jönköping,Sweden] Slideshow (Birch, P. D. J., Sharpe, B. T., Ortiz de Gortari, A., Arumuham, A. and Smith, M. J. (2022) Mental ill health in professional esports athletes: Prevalence and relationships. ERNC 22: Esports Research Network Conference, Jönköping,Sweden)
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Abstract

Few research studies have examined the predictors of mental ill health in esports. This study addresses the gap by investigating the prevalence and relationships of mental ill health in a professional first-person shooter sample. An online survey was disseminated to professional first-person shooter athletes (n = 72). The survey included measures of stressors resulting from professionally competing in esports (competitive, organisational, personal), sleep quality, burnout, as well as outcome measures of mental ill health. We found that 60% of our sample had experienced symptoms of psychological distress (Distress Screener), 78.7% experienced psychological signs of anxiety or depression (GHQ-12), and 23.6% experienced moderately severe to severe symptoms of depression (PHQ-9), all in the previous four weeks. Correlation analyses examined these relationships. We found that competitive and personal stressors significantly and positively associated with the Distress Screener, and personal stressors significantly and positively associated with the PHQ-9. We also found burnout subscales of reduced sense of accomplishment and emotion and physical exhaustion and the sleep subscales of disturbance and daytime dysfunction significantly and positively associated to all outcome measures of mental ill health. We hope our findings can inform the development of evidencebased interventions designed to target specific aspects of stress, sleep, and burnout to improve the mental health of those who compete professionally in esports.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Speech)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health, mental ill health, stress, elite athletes, esports, depression, anxiety, burnout, sleep, stressors
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV1199 Games and amusements > GV1469.15 Computer games. Video games. Fantasy games
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Sport > Area > Exercise Physiology
Academic Areas > Institute of Sport > Research Theme > Enhancing Sport Performance
Research Entities > POWER Centre
Event Title: ERNC 22: Esports Research Network Conference
Event Location: Jönköping,Sweden
Event Dates: 21 - 23 November 2022
Depositing User: Phil Birch
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2024 11:47
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 14:34
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/7278

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