To Weigh or Not to Weigh? Relation to Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Among Female Collegiate Athletes

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Kayla W. Carrigan University of North Texas

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Trent A. Petrie University of North Texas

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Carlin M. Anderson University of Minnesota

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Female athletes have been identified as a subpopulation at heightened risk for disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, particularly due to weight pressures in their environment. Using a sample of 414 NCAA Division-I female collegiate athletes, we examined the relations of required team weigh-ins or self-weighing on disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. Through a series of multivariate analyses, we determined that team weighs were significantly unrelated to all outcome measures. Self-weighing, however, differentiated the athletes’ scores on internalization, body satisfaction, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology; athletes who self-weighed three or more times a week reported significantly higher levels of pathology across all measures. Mandatory team-conducted weigh-ins appear to not be a salient pressure for female gymnasts and swimmer/divers, although the frequency of their self-weighing may represent a level of self-monitoring that is associated with greater endorsement of disordered eating attitudes and behaviors.

Kayla W. Carrigan and Trent A. Petrie are with the Psychology Department, University of North Texas, Denton, TX. Carlin M. Anderson is with the Athletic Department, University of Minnesota, Edina, MN.

Address author correspondence to Kayla W. Carrigan at kaywcarr@gmail.com.
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