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Disordered eating in athletes has been frequently studied with a particular emphasis on aesthetic sports. Lately, competitive rowing has come into the focus. It has been supposed that in competitive rowers eating disturbances occur more frequently compared to non-competitive rowers. The aim of the present study therefore is to investigate eating disturbances and mental health related issues in competitive and non-competitive rowers. N = 45 lightweight (LWR), n = 31 heavyweight (HWR) and n = 37 non-competitive rowers (NCR) participated in an online based survey during the beginning of the on-season asking for eating behaviour (SCOFF, EDI-2) and mental health problems (PHQ). Results showed that competitive rowers reported more eating disturbances and risky attitudes/behaviour compared to non-competitive rowers. LWR showed higher Drive for thinness compared to HWR. The regression analysis revealed that Drive for thinness and Bulimia predict eating disorder symptoms in rowers. These results emphasize the presence of serious eating disturbances in competitive rowing.
Kraus is with the Institute of Psychology, Psychology Chair I - Differential Psychology, Personality und Psychological Assessment, Julius-Maximilians-University Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany. Holtmann is with the Institute of Psychology, Julius-Maximilians-University Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany. Legenbauer is with the Dept. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, LWL-University Hospital Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany. Kraus and Holtmann shared first authorship.