Zella E. Moore, Raquel Ciampa, Jaime Wilsnack, and Elizabeth Wright
Eating disorders are serious clinical issues that can have severe physical and psychological ramifications. Although prevalence rates of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are low in the general population, it has been reported that prevalence rates are higher among individuals involved in the athletic milieu. Unfortunately, based on the demands of the sport environment, these individuals may be significantly less likely to seek treatment for these disorders, thus may experience dangerous short- and long-term consequences. Yet, even when such athletes do seek help, they often receive psychological treatments that have not been demonstrated to be efficacious among methodologically sound research studies. This article clarifies the current state of eating disorder treatment efficacy so that practitioners working with eating disordered athletic clientele can adopt more ethical and effective treatment practices.
Justine J. Reel, Sonya SooHoo, Holly Doetsch, Jennifer E. Carter, and Trent A. Petrie
The purpose of the study was to determine prevalence rates of the female athlete triad (Triad), differences by sport category (aesthetic, endurance, and team/anaerobic), and the relationship between each of the components of the Triad. Female athletes (N= 451) from three Division I universities with an average age of 20 years completed the Menstrual History Questionnaire, Injury Assessment Questionnaire, and the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnoses (Q-EDD; Mintz, O’Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997). Almost 7% of female athletes reported clinical eating disorders, and 19.2% reported subclinical disordered eating. Disordered eating was prevalent in all three sport categories with no significant differences between groups. Muscle injuries were more prevalent in team/anaerobic sports (77.4%) than the aesthetic (68.1%) and endurance groups (58.1%). Furthermore, those athletes with menstrual dysfunction more frequently reported clinical eating disorders (1.4%) and sustained more skeletal injuries (51%) during their athletic career than athletes with regular menstrual function. Clinical implications and further research directions are addressed.
Lori F. Cummins
Figure skating is a distinct youth sport often overlooked in the sport psychology literature. This paper reviews the literature to substantiate how figure skating presents challenges for adaptation and development not shared by other sports. The possible implications of figure skating on identity and self-worth are considered, as is the role of coaches in the figure skating environment and how they can potentially foster or hinder their athletes’ positive psychological development. In this regard, the possible application of parenting style theories is discussed in the context of figure skating coaches. Finally, Smith, Smoll, and Curtis’s (1979) Coach Effectiveness Training program is considered as a potential intervention program to promote healthy psychological development for young figure skaters.
Frank M. Webbe and Shelley R. Ochs
Concussions in soccer are often coincident with the act of heading the ball, and some researchers have reported that soccer heading is associated with neurocoginitive decrements. This study aimed to understand (a) the personality factors that may predict frequent soccer heading, and (b) how knowledge of players’ personality traits might help sport counselors persuade neurologically at-risk players to moderate their heading behavior. Sixty elite male soccer players (ages 16-34) completed structured self-report interviews, the NEO-FFI personality inventory, and the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking. Players who headed most had significantly higher extraversion scores than comparison athletes and soccer players who headed less. Physical height was the best predictor of heading frequency but was not correlated with extraversion, which was also a significant predictor. Players with the typical profile of the high heading group may be more resistant to suggestion that they alter their style of play for safety reasons.
Athletes with eating disorders risk compromising not only their performance but also their health and general well-being. These serious issues make recognizing and treating eating disorders extremely important. Unfortunately, the prevalence of eating disorders in certain sports is high, and identifying problems can be difficult. Accessing and engaging such athletes in effective treatment is also no easy task. By fostering understanding and cooperation between clinicians and others who work in the sport environment, athletes will have the best opportunity to access high quality treatment at the right time and have the greatest chance to repair both their health and sport performance. This paper takes a psychiatric perspective on eating disorders among athletes and discusses prevalence, diagnostic issues, and treatment options.
Trent A. Petrie, Christy Greenleaf, Jennifer E. Carter, and Justine J. Reel
Few studies have been conducted examining male athletes and eating disorders, even though the sport environment may increase their risk. Thus, little information exists regarding the relationship of putative risk factors to eating disorders in this group. To address this issue, we examined the relationship of eating disorder classification to the risk factors of body image concerns (including drive for muscularity), negative affect, weight pressures, and disordered eating behaviors. Male college athletes (N= 199) from three different NCAA Division I universities participated. Only two athletes were classified with an eating disorder, though 33 (16.6%) and 164 (82.4%), respectively, were categorized as symptomatic and asymptomatic. Multivariate analyses revealed that eating disorder classification was unrelated to the majority of the risk factors, although the eating disorder group (i.e., clinical and symptomatic) did report greater fear of becoming fat, more weight pressures from TV and from magazines, and higher levels of stress than the asymptomatic athletes. In addition, the eating disorder group had higher scores on the Bulimia Test-Revised (Thelen, Mintz, & Vander Wal, 1996), which validated the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Mintz, O’Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997) as a measure of eating disorders with male athletes. These findings suggest that variables that have been supported as risk factors among women in general, and female athletes in particular, may not apply as strongly, or at all, to male athletes.
Eric A. Zillmer and Rebecca Weidensaul Gigli
Over the last two decades, there has been an increase in participation in intercollegiate sports with over 380,000 student-athletes participating in nearly 100 athletic conferences at 1,100 NCAA membership schools. Simultaneously, the professional development in the field of sport psychology has paralleled the public draw of competitive sports. This paper explores, from the university athletics departmental perspective, the opportunities as well as the challenges that clinical sport psychologists may encounter within this interesting and stimulating field. The sport psychologist’s training and expertise uniquely prepares him or her to play an important and rewarding role in the lives of coaches, student-athletes and all those who support them.