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

PETRIE, GREENLEAF, REEL, AND CARTER

Table 1
Relation of Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis Classification to Demographics and
Bulimic Symptomatology

Variable
Age (years)
Mean
SD
BULIT-R
scores
Mean
SD
Sport type
Endurance
Ball game
Power
Race/ethnicity
Nonminority
Minority
Year in school
Freshman
Sophomore
Junior
Senior

Asymptomatic
(n = 164)
20.26
1.60
57.25
16.21
87%
80%
78%
78%
85%
80%
82%
84%
75%

Symptomatic
(n = 39)
20.41
1.80
45.05
14.64

13%
20%
22%
22%
15%
20%
18%
16%
25%

F(1, 201)
0.26
21.01*

X2

1.30
1.45
6.72

Note. N = 203 for all chi-square tests, and dfs were 2 (Sport type), 1 (Race/ethnicity), and 4 (Year in school).
BULIT-R = Bulimia Test-Revised (scores can range from 28 to 140).
*p < .0001.

Discussion
Consistent with research that has used the
QEDD with single-source samples of male col-
legiate athletes (Carter & Rudd, 2005; Sanford-
Martens et al., 2005), none scored in the clinical
eating disorder range, although almost 20% re-
ported a sufficient number and level of symp-
toms to be considered symptomatic; just over
80% had no eating-related concerns and were
categorized as asymptomatic. These rates are
lower than those reported by Johnson et al.
(1999), and generally reflect a low level of
eating disorder pathology. Contrary to research-
ers' findings that sport type or other demograph-
ics might be related to eating disorder category
(e.g., Sundgot-Borgen & Torsveit, 2004), nei-
ther year in school, race/ethnicity, sport type,
nor age was related to whether or not the ath-
letes were symptomatic or asymptomatic. The
limitation to these analyses, however, is that the
two sport type groupings thought to be most
vulnerable to body image concerns and disor-
dered eating behaviors-aesthetic and weight
dependent-were excluded because of the small
numbers of athletes in each group. As a result, the

sport type group analysis, though nonsignificant,
was incomplete. Thus, future research will need to
continue to examine the relation of sport type
groupings (and include all groupings if possible)
before firm conclusions can be drawn as to
whether or not all groups are equally related to
eating disorder classification. Keeping that limita-
tion in mind, these results suggest that the two
QEDD groups were similar to one another on the
basic demographic variables examined, and there
were no disproportionate numbers of certain
types of athletes (e.g., sophomores, nonmi-
norities) in either one. Thus, for male colle-
giate athletes, researchers may be able to ag-
gregate across these demographic variables
and certain sport types when conducting anal-
yses based on disordered eating categories,
and clinicians will need to recognize that
symptomatic athletes may be found among all
types of sports, not just those previously
thought to be more at risk.
Regarding the athletes' actual body size and
their perception of its adequacy, two important
findings emerged. First, based on their self-
reported weights and heights, two thirds of the

272

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 May 7, 2015.