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International Journal of Sports, Exercise and Physical Education

Vol. 6, Issue 1, Part A (2024)

Mental health struggles among female athletes: Examining the unique challenges faced by women in sports


Pawankumar Jaiprakash Singh and Dr. Nisar Hussain


The doctoral research paper titled "Mental Health Struggles Among Female Athletes: Examining the Unique Challenges faced by Women in sports" delves deeply into the intricate and multifaceted landscape of mental health struggles experienced by female athletes. It meticulously examines the unique challenges they face within the dynamic world of sports, aiming to uncover the complexities that shape their psychological well-being. Utilizing a robust mixed-method approach that combines qualitative interviews with thematic analysis and quantitative surveys, this research endeavors to unravel the intricate interplay of societal, interpersonal, and individual factors that influence the mental health of female athletes.

The findings of this study illuminate the profound impact of societal expectations and gender stereotypes on the mental well-being of female athletes. Participants grapple with the relentless pressure to conform to conventional notions of femininity while simultaneously striving for excellence in their respective sports. Moreover, the importance of interpersonal relationships and support networks emerges as a critical protective factor, with coaches, teammates, and family members providing essential validation and encouragement in the face of adversity. Conversely, the absence of such support systems or experiences of isolation exacerbate feelings of anxiety and loneliness among athletes, underscoring the significance of social connections in promoting mental resilience.

Furthermore, this research delves into the nuanced pressures associated with maintaining specific physical standards within the realm of sports. Female athletes candidly discuss their struggles with body image concerns and the internalized criticism stemming from societal expectations and media portrayals. The pervasive emphasis on physical appearance within sports culture perpetuates a harmful cycle of body dissatisfaction and self-perception struggles, significantly impacting the overall well-being of female athletes.

In conclusion, the findings of this study underscore the urgent need for targeted interventions and support mechanisms tailored to address the systemic barriers and challenges faced by female athletes. By challenging harmful gender stereotypes, fostering inclusive team environments, and prioritizing mental health alongside athletic performance, stakeholders can work towards creating a more equitable and empowering space for women in sports. Through collective efforts and a steadfast commitment to amplifying the voices of female athletes, we can aspire to cultivate a future where women not only excel in their athletic endeavors but also thrive in their overall health and happiness, fostering a culture of holistic well-being within the sports community.

Pages: 39-41  |  239 Views  89 Downloads

International Journal of Sports, Exercise and Physical Education
How to cite this article:
Pawankumar Jaiprakash Singh and Dr. Nisar Hussain. Mental health struggles among female athletes: Examining the unique challenges faced by women in sports. Int. J. Sports Exercise Phys. Educ. 2024;6(1):39-41. DOI: 10.33545/26647281.2024.v6.i1a.74
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