Maladaptive eating behaviors in university female athletes
The purpose of this research study is to investigate the differences in disordered eating patterns and body image when comparing athletes participating in lean vs. non-lean sports. In addition, sociocultural factors were investigated to determine how they contribute to the current body image of the athletes. All participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI-3), and the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26). Three hypotheses were posed: Hypothesis I: Athletes in lean sports will have a higher incidence of disordered eating patterns than athletes in non-lean sports. Hypothesis II: Athletes in lean sports are more likely to develop a negative body image than athletes in non-lean sports. Hypothesis III: Athletes participating in lean sports report that sociocultural factors more negatively influence their eating patterns and body image than athletes in non-lean sports. The results of this study indicated that there was no significant difference between lean and non-lean athletes in terms of eating attitudes and body image. In regard to sociocultural influences, lean athletes indicate society had a significant influence on their body image when compared to non-lean athletes. The results of this study provided practical implications for counselors when working with this unique population.