Athlete Identity and Eating Pathology in Distance Runners: When Compulsive Exercise Matters

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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Purpose: The current study evaluated associations between exercise identity (Exercise Identity Scale; EIS), compulsive exercise (Compulsive Exercise Test; CET), and their association with Eating Disorder Examination – Questionnaire (EDE-Q) scores among adult runners registered for mid- and long-distance races (N = 282, 48.2% male). Methods: Runners of half and full marathon races completed the EIS, CET, and EDE-Q. Results: Regression analyses indicated that increased EIS, b = −.21, and CET, b = −3.25, scores contribute to decreased eating pathology amongst half-marathon runners; a significant interaction effect emerged for EIS × CET scores, b = .08, such that relations between EIS and EDEQ scores were significant among runners reporting either lower or higher CET scores. These associations were not demonstrated in marathon runners. Conclusions: Results suggest that it is beneficial to consider running status when addressing the effect that exercise identity and compulsive exercise may have on eating pathology in competitive runners.

Gorrell and Anderson are with the State University of New York, University at Albany, Albany, NY. Gorrell is currently with the University of California, San Francisco, CA.

Address author correspondence to Sasha Gorrell at Sasha.Gorrell@ucsf.edu.
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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