Cognitive Mapping: Its Use as an Assessment Tool for Disordered Eating

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 Department of Exercise, Sport and Health Studies University of Texas, Arlington Box 19259 Arlington, TX 76019-0259
  • 2 Department of Health and Human Performance Iowa State University
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The incidence of eating disorders among female athletes continues to increase, presenting intervention challenges to athletic trainers. Additionally, a number of female athletes have disordered eating behaviors that do not yet constitute an eating disorder diagnosis, but have similar characteristics to those athletes diagonised with eating disorders. However, each athlete exhibits individual mental representations of disordered eating and the impact of those representations on important aspects of her life. The athletic trainer has the potential to offer comprehensive preventive education when all aspects of the athlete’s own understanding of disordered eating are assessed. Cognitive mapping is an assessment technique that can be used in addition to other preventive practices and can be useful in determining an athlete’s current mental representations of disordered eating.

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