Over recent decades, adolescent athletic participation has grown in the United States. The rise in participation means that mental health clinicians who work with adolescents are likely increasingly coming in contact with young athletes facing issues directly related to sports. The issues facing adolescent athletes create additional challenges that should be addressed in treatment to improve overall psychological well-being and to promote healthy development. In order to best meet the general mental health needs of these clients, clinicians need to be aware of the unique stressors and issues they frequently face. A resource manual was created to guide clinicians working with elite male athletes between the ages of 12 and 18 years in order to help them realize the benefits and avoid the adverse consequences that may be associated with elite-level sports participation. The manual was developed to be a resource for mental health clinicians seeking help in understanding the challenges faced by elite-level adolescent male athletes, guidance in identifying therapeutic interventions likely to be effective in addressing those challenges, and clarification of the mental skills training typically conducted by sport psychologists. The manual's content was informed by both a review of the relevant scholarly literature and by interviews conducted with a former elite adolescent athlete, a sports psychologist, and a mental health clinician who has worked with male adolescent athletes. Following a discussion of some strengths, limitations, and potential modifications to the current manual, plans for evaluating and disseminating it are described.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (PsyD) -- Psychology; Male athletes -- Psychological aspects; Adolescent psychotherapy -- Handbooks, manuals, etc.

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Erhardt, Drew;