Bulimic Symptomatology: Psychosocial Correlates Amongst Female Collegiate Athletes
Alexandra Thompson, University of North Texas, USA
Theme: Clinical issues
Poster Number: 4
Program ID: POS-1
Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Disordered eating is a serious health problem for female collegiate athletes (Greenleaf, Petrie, Carter, & Reel, 2009), and determining the potential risk factors that explain its presence is essential for developing intervention programs. Female collegiate athletes (n = 177) from 3 NCAA Division I universities, representing 13 different sports (e.g., basketball, softball, swimming, track/field), participated; Mage was 19.91 years; BMI was 22.54 kg/m2 ; 75% were White. Athletes anonymously completed measures related to the following constructs: General Societal Pressures about Body Size and Weight (e.g., family, friends, media), Sport Specific Pressures about Body Shape and Weight (e.g., coaches, teammates, judges), Internalization of Societal Body Ideals; Body Dissatisfaction, Negative Affect (e.g., sad, anxious), and Bulimic Symptomatology. Hierarchical regression revealed the following about each set of psychosocial measures in predicting Bulimic Symptomatology: General Societal Pressures, F (5, 171) = 7.67, p < .0001, ?R2 = .18; Sport Pressures, F (3, 168) = 0.15, p = .93, ?R2 = .00; Internalization, F (2, 166) = 9.19, p < .0001, ?R2 = .08; Body Dissatisfaction, F (3, 163) = 12.86, p < .0001, ?R2 = .14; and Negative Affect, F (4, 159) = 10.09, p < .0001, ?R2 = .12. The overall model was significant, F (17, 159) = 10.42, p < .0001, AdjR2 = .48; full model betas showed that feeling guilty and ashamed (? = .42) and being dissatisfied with body size/shape (? = .22) were the primary predictors of bulimic symptomatology. These findings provide support for pathways within the Petrie and Greenleaf (2012) eating disorder model and suggest that (a) general societal pressures may be more salient than sport specific pressures, (b) body dissatisfaction is an important precursor of disordered eating, and (c) feeling guilty and ashamed, as opposed to stressed, sad, or anxious, may increase athletes’ risk.