Date of Award

Fall 2008

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Research on the impact of multiple role management on mental health outcomes has yet to consider the implications of a recreational athlete role. Role Conflict theory predicts that incorporating this additional role would increase potential for stress manifested as a mental health problem. Role Expansion theory predicts the social qualities of this additional role can be helpful in buffering against stress. In an exploratory study, a sample of recreational runners from New England were recruited by email to complete an online survey that evaluated role resources, role stress, depression, and alcohol problems. Results show no significant relationships between role stress, role resources, and mental health outcomes. Gender differences in mental health outcomes are absent among this sample. This study is unable to support or contradict the Role Conflict Theory and Role Expansion Theory. Implications for future research are discussed.