Date: December 2009
Creator: Anderson, Carlin Mahan
Description: Certain sport environments may contribute to the development of disordered eating and those that heavily emphasize weight and/or body shape can be particularly damaging to an athlete's body image, self-concept, and eating behaviors. In particular, female athletes in collegiate sports are at a greater risk for engaging in unhealthy behaviors because they face both societal pressures from Western culture to be thin, in addition to sport pressures that focus on performance and appearance. According to the American Medical Association almost half of American women are trying to lose weight, illustrating that societal pressures alone to be thin and attractive can influence the development of disordered eating. Athletes are exposed to the same sociocultural pressures as their nonathlete counterparts, and would be expected to have similar feelings about their bodies as women in general. Add subsequent pressures like team "weigh-ins," coaches' body comp preferences, judges' critiques, revealing attire, and endurance/strength demands, and the stage is set for the development of disordered eating. In the current study, participants were 414 Division-I female gymnasts, swimmers/divers, and they completed self-report measures assessing sport pressures, body satisfaction and disordered eating behavior to test Petrie & Greenleaf's etiological model. Results indicate that sport pressures do lead ...
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