Prevalence of Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating Behaviors Among Male Collegiate Athletes

PETRIE, GREENLEAF, REEL, AND CARTER

were either in season (82.3%) or out of season
(78.3%). In terms of eating disorder histories, 1
reported being diagnosed or treated previously
for AN and 1 for an undefined eating disorder;
none indicated BN.
Measures
Demographics and weight. This question-
naire was developed for the current study to
assess age, race/ethnicity, current weight and
height, grade level, sport, and years participat-
ing in sport. Self-reported current weight and
height were used to determine BMI. In addition,
the athletes were asked whether they were sat-
isfied with their current weight (and, if not,
whether they believed they were overweight or
underweight), experienced weight fluctuations
when in season and when out of season
(changes greater than 10% body weight), had
received an athletic scholarship, were starters
on their team, and had a current or past diagno-
sis or treatment of an eating disorder.
Disordered eating. The 50-item Question-
naire for Eating Disorder Diagnoses (QEDD;
Mintz et al., 1997) measures eating disorder
symptoms based on DSM-IV-TR criteria; 1
question was changed (see italics) to reflect the
reality that athletes exercise as a requirement for
their sport (i.e., indicate the amount of time you
spent exercising in addition to your normal
sport practice in order to lose weight). Based on
their responses, participants were classified as
eating disordered (i.e., AN, BN, subthreshold
BN, subthreshold AN, nonbingeing BN, and
binge-eating disorder), symptomatic (i.e., some
symptoms, but not sufficient to warrant a clin-
ical diagnosis), or asymptomatic (i.e., no eating
disturbances). Research has supported the
QEDD as a valid measure of eating disorder
categories for male undergraduates (e.g., Tylka
& Subich, 2002) and male collegiate athletes
(e.g., Sanford-Martens et al., 2005).
The 36-item Bulimia Test-Revised (BU-
LIT-R; Thelen, Mintz, & Vander Wal, 1996)
assesses bulimic symptomatology as defined by
the DSM- IV-TR. Items are rated on a 5-point
scale ranging from 1 (absence of disturbance)
to 5 (severe disturbance). Because only 28-
items are scored, total scores range from 28 to
140; higher scores reflect greater endorsement
of bulimic attitudes and behaviors. In addition,
for the purposes of this study, 7 of the items

were examined because they provided specific
information about frequency of use of patho-
genic weight control behaviors, such as use of
laxatives, diuretics, vomiting, dieting or fasting,
excessive exercising, and engagement in binge
eating (frequency and duration). Although de-
veloped originally with women, recent research
has used the BULIT-R in studies with men and
thus has provided information on the scale's
psychometric properties for this gender. For ex-
ample, the scale has been found to be internally
consistent (Cronbach's alpha) with male under-
graduate nonathletes (a = .90; Mitchell &
Mazzeo, 2005) and athletes (L = .87; Petrie,
Greenleaf, Carter, & Reel, 2007). Cronbach's
alpha from the current study was .92. In support
of the scale's construct validity, researchers
(Mitchell & Mazzeo, 2005; Petrie et al., 2007)
have reported significant correlations between
the BULIT-R and symptoms of depression
(rs = .42-.70), body satisfaction (r = -.51),
and drive for muscularity (r = .59) in samples
of undergraduate male athletes and nonathletes.
Finally, past research has used the 7 selected
items with collegiate athletes to discern the fre-
quency of pathogenic eating and weight loss
behaviors (Petrie & Stoever, 1993).
Procedure
These data were collected as part of a larger
research project on the physical and psycholog-
ical health of college student athletes that was
funded by the NCAA and being conducted at
the three schools. After receiving approval from
each university's Institutional Review Board for
Human Subjects Research, consent was ob-
tained from each athletic department to conduct
the study with the athletes. Data collection was
coordinated at each site by one of the authors, who
arranged with athletic department personnel to
have athletes come to on-campus computing
centers where they could log onto the confi-
dential Web site to anonymously take the
survey. Prior to completing the survey, they
read the consent forms and then indicated
their agreement by clicking "I agree" on the
Web site. No athletic department personnel,
including coaches, were present when the ath-
letes completed the online survey. After submit-
ting the survey online, athletes received $5 for
their participation. Data were collected during
the spring semester.

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Petrie, Trent A.; Greenleaf, Christy; Reel, Justine J. & Carter, Jennifer. Prevalence of Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating Behaviors Among Male Collegiate Athletes. [Washington, D.C.]. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31092/. Accessed November 22, 2014.