p-ISSN: 1300-0551
e-ISSN: 2587-1498

Yavuz Lima1, Seçkin Şenışık2, Nevzad Denerel3, Onur Hurşitoğlu4, Görkem A. Balcı5, Gül Ü. Bolat6, Metin Ergün2

1Sports Medicine Unit, Balıkesir Atatürk City Hospital, Balıkesir, Turkey
2Sports Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ege University, İzmir, Turkey
3Health Team Clinic, Sports Medicine, Nicosia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
4Psychiatry Division, Necip Fazıl City Hospital, Kahramanmaraş, Turkey
5Coaching Education Department, Faculty of Sports Science, Ege University, İzmir, Turkey
6Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department, Faculty of Medicine, Balıkesir University, Balıkesir, Turkey

Keywords: SARS CoV-2, sportsman, mental health, assessment


Objective: Although the psychological states of athletes were negatively affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lack of studies examining the psychological impact on athletes according to age, sports discipline, and contact requirement of the sport. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on elite athletes according to age, sport discipline (team-individual), and contact requirements of the sports (contact and non-contact).

Material and methods: Three questionnaires (Depression anxiety stress scale-21, Impact of events scale (IES), International physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ)) were sent to participants’ smartphones, six weeks after professional football leagues were postponed. The online survey was completed by 440 athletes and 126 non-athlete volunteers. Athletes were divided into three groups as follows; team sports, individual contact, and individual non-contact-sports. Also, each group was subdivided into two age groups as youth and adult.

Results: Depression, anxiety, and stress scores for the team sports were significantly lower than individual contact-sports (p<0.01 each) and individual non-contact-sports (p=0.02, p<0.01, p<0.01, respectively). IES score for the team sports was significantly lower than the individual contact sports, individual non-contact sports, and non-athlete volunteers (p<0.01, p=0.02, p=0.04, respectively). There was no other significant difference between the scale scores of the groups (athletes-control, or youth-adult) (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Mental health status of team sport athletes were relatively protected, whereas, individual contact sports athletes were highly affected. The psychological states of individual contact athletes should be monitored closely, and necessary psychosocial support should be provided to create coping strategies.

Cite this article as: Lima Y, Senisik S, Denerel N, Hursitoglu H, Balci GA, Bolat GU, et al. Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on the psychological states of youth and adult elite male athletes. Turk J Sports Med. 2022;57(1):31-7; https://doi.org/10.47447/tjsm.0597

Ethics Committee Approval

The approval for this study was obtained from Institutional Ethics Committee of Ege University, İzmir, Turkey (Decision no: 20-6T/27 Date: 10.06.2020).

Author Contributions

Concept All authors; Design All authors; Supervision YL, SŞ, ME; Materials YL, ND, ME, GAB; Data Collection and/or Processing YL, ND, ME, GAB; Analysis and Interpretation YL, GÜB, HO; Literature Review YL, GÜB, HO, ND; Writing Manuscript YL, SŞ; Critical Reviews YL, SŞ, ME.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to authorship and/or publication of the article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or publication of this article.