Bulimic Symptomatology Among Male Collegiate Athletes: A Test of an Etiological Model

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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We tested Petrie and Greenleaf’s psychosocial model in relation to male athletes’ bulimic symptomatology. Through structural equation modeling, we cross-sectionally examined the direct and indirect effects of general and sport-specific appearance pressures, internalization, body satisfaction, drive for muscularity, negative affect, and dietary restraint on bulimic symptomatology. Participants were U.S. male collegiate athletes (N = 698; Mage = 19.87 years) representing 17 sports. With minor respecifications, the model had acceptable fit, and the psychosocial variables explained 48% of the bulimic symptomatology variance. Although all variable paths were significant, sport pressures, such as from coaches and teammates about weight, importance of appearance, and looking good in a uniform, were the most salient latent variable. Athletes’ engagement in muscle-building behaviors added uniquely and substantively as well. Our analysis begins to clarify the complex interactions among these psychosocial variables in understanding male athletes’ bulimic symptomatology and provides a base from which to develop prevention programming.

Justine Chatterton, Trent A. Petrie, Keke L. Schuler, and Camilo Ruggero are with the Department of Psychology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX.

Address author correspondence to Trent A. Petrie at Trent.Petrie@unt.edu.
Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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