Factors Influencing Body Image in Female Adolescent Athletes

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 Boise State University
  • | 2 University of Evansville
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Recent research has noted an increase in body image dissatisfaction among adolescents and adults. One group that seems to be particularly at risk for body image dissatisfaction is female athletes. However, few studies have examined what factors might influence body image dissatisfaction in female athletes. The present study surveyed 146 female high school athletes to determine which factors influence their body image. We found that body image related to several physical and psychological health variables, including physical ailments, negative health habits, stress, fatigue, anger, tension, depression, confusion, negative affect, and use of ineffective coping styles. Finally, several parental health habits related to female body image including maternal smoking and maternal and paternal nutrition habits. In sum, coaches and parents need to emphasize healthy habits, as well as effective coping strategies when dealing with female athletes. In addition, parents must realize the impact they have on their daughter’s body image.

Mary Pritchard Boise State University Department of Psychology 1910 University Dr. Boise, ID 83725-1715 Email: marypritchard@boisestate.edu Phone: (208) 426-1901 Fax: (208) 426-4386

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