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Petrie and Greenleaf (2007) presented a psychosocial model of disordered eating for female athletes. Based upon the 2007 model, the present study examined four key psychosocial variables: internalization, body dissatisfaction, restrained eating, and negative affect, as predictors of bulimic symptoms among NCAA Division I female athletes. Two hundred four women (N = 204) participated and were drawn from three different universities and competed in 17 different varsity sports. After controlling for the effects of body mass and social desirability, hierarchical regression analysis showed that the psychosocial variables explained 42% of the variance in bulimic symptoms. In the full model, higher levels of body dissatisfaction, more dietary restraint, and stronger feelings of guilt were associated with bulimic symptomatology. Internalization of the sociocultural ideal as well as feelings of fear, hostility, or sadness were unrelated.
Christy Greenleaf is with the Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation and Trent A. Petrie is with the Department of Psychology, both at the University of North Texas in Denton. Justine J. Reel is with the Department of Health Promotion and Education at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Jennifer E. Carter is with the Center for Balanced Living, Worthington, OH.