Athlete Psychological Strain

The Athlete Psychological Strain Questionnaire (APSQ) is a 10 question, brief self-report screening instrument for elite athlete’s mental health. It assesses three domains of elite athlete mental strain: (1) Self-regulation, (2) Performance, and (3) External Coping. It was originally validated with a large sample (n = 1,007) of currently competing Australian male elite athletes, and re-validated with an additional sample of female elite athletes.

There are several international validations of the APSQ being developed – Arabic, Chinese, Finnish, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian and Turkish.

The APSQ is freely available for non-commercial use, and downloadable here:

Original Article:

Rice, S., Parker, A., Mawren, D., Clifton, C., Harcourt, P., Lloyd, M., Kountouris, A., Smith, B., McGorry, P. & Purcell, R. (2020) Preliminary psychometric validation of a brief screening tool for athlete mental health among male elite athletes: the Athlete Psychological Strain Questionnaire, International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 18:6, 850-865,

International Validation Articles:


Tan C., Yin J., Cao G., Qui J., and Zhao D. (2021) Revision and validation of Chinese version of Athlete Psychological Strain Questionnaire. Modern Preventive Medicine. 16(48)


Ojio Y, Matsunaga A, Hatakeyama K, Kawamura S, Horiguchi M, Yoshitani G, Kanie A, Horikoshi M, Fujii C. (2021) Anxiety and depression symptoms and suicidal ideation in Japan rugby top league players. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 18(3):1205.


Lima Y, Oz N, Denerel N, Ozkaya O, Senisik S, Rice S. (2022) Validity and reliability of the Turkish version of Athlete Psychological Strain Questionnaire (APSQ). Turkish Journal of Sports Medicine.

Example publications citing the APSQ:

Purcell, R., Gwyther, K., & Rice, S. M. (2019). Mental health in elite athletes: increased awareness requires an early intervention framework to respond to athlete needs. Sports Medicine-Open5(1), 1-8.

Gouttebarge, V., Bindra, A., Blauwet, C., Campriani, N., Currie, A., Engebretsen, L., Hainline, B., Kroshus, E., McDuff, D., Mountjoy, M., Purcell, R., Putukian, M., Reardon, C. L., Rice, S. M., & Budgett, R. (2021). International Olympic Committee (IOC) sport mental health assessment tool 1 (SMHAT-1) and sport mental health recognition tool 1 (SMHRT-1): towards better support of athletes’ mental health. British Journal of Sports Medicine55(1), 30-37.

Rice, S., Butterworth, M., Clements, M., Josifovski, D., Arnold, S., Schwab, C., Pennell, K., & Purcell, R. (2020). Development and implementation of the national mental health referral network for elite athletes: A case study of the Australian Institute of Sport. Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology4(S1), S1-27.

Balcombe, L., & De Leo, D. (2020). Psychological screening and tracking of athletes and digital mental health solutions in a hybrid model of care: mini review. JMIR Formative Research4(12), e22755.

Walton, C. C., Rice, S., Gao, C. X., Butterworth, M., Clements, M., & Purcell, R. (2021). Gender differences in mental health symptoms and risk factors in Australian elite athletes. BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine7(1), e000984.

King, L., Cullen, S., O’Connor, S., McGoldrick, A., Pugh, J., Warrington, G., Woods, G., Nevill, A. M., & Losty, C. (2021). Common mental disorders among Irish jockeys: prevalence and risk factors. The Physician and Sportsmedicine49(2), 207-213.