Effects of sport pressures on female collegiate athletes: A preliminary longitudinal investigation.

Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology 04/2012; 1(2):120-134. DOI: 10.1037/a0026587

ABSTRACT Female athletes have been identified as a population at risk for disordered eating, and a recent theoretical model (Petrie & Greenleaf, in press) has identified sociocultural factors that may define that risk. In this study, we examined three central constructs in the model—sport pressures regarding body, weight, and appearance; body dissatisfaction; and dietary restraint—within a sample of female collegiate gymnasts and swimmers/divers. Using cross-lagged panel analyses, we determined that sport pressures and dietary restraint remained highly stable over the course of a 5-month competitive season. As expected, Time 1 sport pressures predicted increases in body dissatisfaction at Time 2; no similar effects were found, however, on dietary restraint. Our findings provide direction for interventions that could reduce female athletes' risk of developing disordered eating by targeting messages, ideals, and behaviors within the sport environment that communicate the supposed importance of weight loss and appearance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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    ABSTRACT: Male athletes are subject to sociocultural pressures to attain a lean and muscular physique (e.g., media images), as well as weight pressures from the sport environment (e.g., performance). The purpose of our study was to examine the validity and reliability of a scale designed to measure sport-specific weight pressures in male athletes, the Weight Pressures in Sport Scale for Male Athletes (WPS-M). We examined the factorial validity of the WPS-M, and established the factors’ reliability. Further, we tested the convergent and concurrent validity of the WPS-M factors through associations with the theoretically related constructs of body satisfaction, internalization, drive for muscularity, dietary restraint, bulimic symptomology, and general weight pressures for men. Finally, we determined the factors’ incremental validity by examining the extent to which the WPS-M factors predicted relevant outcomes beyond that determined by general sociocultural pressures about weight, body, and appearance. Participants were 698 male intercollegiate athletes from multiple states, sports, and competitive levels. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed three latent factors: (a) Coach/Teammate Pressures about Weight, (b) Importance of Body Weight and Appearance, and (c) Pressures about Weight and Body due to the Sport Uniform. Relationships with related constructs were mostly significant and in the expected direction. Regression analyses supported the utility of the WPS-M for predicting variance in disordered eating beyond that determined by general sociocultural weight pressures. In the future, researchers should employ longitudinal designs and recruit diverse samples of male athletes in order to assess temporal relationships and measurement invariance.
    Psychology of Men & Masculinity 01/2013; 15(2):170-180. DOI:10.1037/a0031762 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: •This Special Issue represents the first published collection of empirical research papers on eating disorders in sport.•Qualitative and quantitative approaches to athlete eating disorders research can work harmoniously.•Eating disorders in sport scholars can deploy more advanced methodologies to produce a more sophisticated literature-base.
    Psychology of Sport and Exercise 07/2014; 15(6). DOI:10.1016/j.psychsport.2014.06.006 · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The purposes of this study were to (a) examine the prevalence of disordered eating among female figure skaters, (b) compare levels of disordered eating between skaters and their same-age peers, (c) compare levels of disordered eating between elite skaters and their sub-elite counterparts, and (d) examine general and sport-related correlates of disordered eating (i.e., four sport-related weight pressures, general and sport-related body dissatisfaction, positive and negative perfectionism, self-esteem, and athletic identity). Design This study employed a cross-sectional design. Method Participants completed paper-pencil surveys, including measures for disordered eating, four sport-related weight pressures, general and sport-related body dissatisfaction, positive and negative perfectionism, self-esteem, and athletic identity. Participants included 272 female figure skaters ages 12 to 25 (M = 15.63) across five US states. Results Thirteen percent of participants scored within range of problematic eating attitudes and behaviors but were no more symptomatic than their same-age peers when compared to existing normative data. Levels of disordered eating did not significantly differ between those competing at the elite and sub-elite level. After controlling for body mass index and age, disordered eating was significantly predicted by self-consciousness of weight and appearance, general and sport-related body dissatisfaction, and positive perfectionism. Conclusions Disordered eating occurs in female figure skaters across competitive levels. Concern over weight and appearance, dissatisfaction with one’s body in general and in sport, and positive perfectionism may serve as important tools in the prevention and detection of disordered eating in female figure skaters.
    Psychology of Sport and Exercise 11/2014; 15(6). DOI:10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.12.002 · 1.77 Impact Factor