The Relationship Between Gender, Type of Sport, Body Dissatisfaction, Self Esteem and Disordered Eating Behaviors in Division I Athletes

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The present study examined whether gender, type of sport (lean v. non-lean), body dissatisfaction and self esteem were associated with disordered eating behaviors in Division I college athletes. More female than male athletes displayed disordered eating behaviors; approximately one-quarter of the population was at risk for a clinically diagnosable eating disorder. The results also revealed that females in non-lean sports (basketball, tennis, golf, soccer, and skiing) and males in lean sports (track, wrestling) displayed the highest level of disordered eating behavior and body dissatisfaction. Finally, results showed that for women, disordered eating behaviors were predicted in order by: body dissatisfaction, self esteem and type of sport (lean v. non-lean), whereas for men, disordered eating behaviors were only predicted by body dissatisfaction. Information from this study will be useful for coaches and athletic trainers hoping to design interventions for athletes suffering from disordered eating behaviors.

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