The Female Athlete Triad: Is the Triad a Problem Among Division I Female Athletes?

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 University of Utah
  • 2 The Ohio State University
  • 3 University of North Texas
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The purpose of the study was to determine prevalence rates of the female athlete triad (Triad), differences by sport category (aesthetic, endurance, and team/anaerobic), and the relationship between each of the components of the Triad. Female athletes (N= 451) from three Division I universities with an average age of 20 years completed the Menstrual History Questionnaire, Injury Assessment Questionnaire, and the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnoses (Q-EDD; Mintz, O’Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997). Almost 7% of female athletes reported clinical eating disorders, and 19.2% reported subclinical disordered eating. Disordered eating was prevalent in all three sport categories with no significant differences between groups. Muscle injuries were more prevalent in team/anaerobic sports (77.4%) than the aesthetic (68.1%) and endurance groups (58.1%). Furthermore, those athletes with menstrual dysfunction more frequently reported clinical eating disorders (1.4%) and sustained more skeletal injuries (51%) during their athletic career than athletes with regular menstrual function. Clinical implications and further research directions are addressed.

Justine J. Reel and Sonya SooHoo are with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. E-mail: Holly Doetsch is with the Department of Nutrition at the University of Utah; Jennifer E. Carter is with the Department of Family Medicine at The Ohio State University in Columbus. Trent A. Petrie, is with the Department of Psychology at the University of North Texas in Denton.