This study prospectively investigated the effects of life stress, psychological coping skills, competitive trait anxiety, and playing status (starter vs. non-starter) on injury in 158 NCAA Division I-A collegiate football players. Playing status moderated the influence of the psychosocial variables as predictors of athletic injury. For starters positive life stress, coping skills, and competitive trait anxiety accounted for 60% of the injury variance. In addition, competitive trait anxiety moderated the effects of positive life stress such that increases in these variables were associated with increases in the number of days missed due to injury. No relationship between any of the psychosocial variables and injury emerged for nonstarters. Implications for future research are discussed with respect to the Andersen and Williams (1988) theoretical model.
Trent A. Petrie
This study extended the examination of the eating disorders continuum to the population of female athletes. Participants (215 collegiate gymnasts) were classified as normal/nondisordered eaters, exercisers, bingers, dieter/restricters, subthreshold bulimics, or bulimics and were then compared on several personality and attitudinal measures. Results revealed that (a) over 60% of the gymnasts met the criteria for one of the intermediate disordered eating categories, (b) only 22% reported eating behaviors that could be classified as normal or nondisordered, and (c) higher levels of disordered eating disturbance, particularly bulimia nervosa, were associated with a desire to weigh less, lower body satisfaction, lower self-esteem, and greater endorsement of sociocultural values regarding women's attractiveness. The findings provide partial support for the eating continuum in female athletes, and suggest that disordered eating may be the normative behavior in this population. Implications for interventions as well as directions for future research are provided.
Stephanie L. Barrett and Trent A. Petrie
Although researchers have examined eating disorders in female athletes, few such studies have been done with athletes who are retired, and even fewer have been quantitative. Thus, the authors empirically tested an established eating disorder theoretical model with 218 former NCAA Division-I female collegiate athletes who had been retired for 2–6 years. In retirement, participants completed measures of general sociocultural pressures related to body and appearance, thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology. Through structural equation modeling, the authors examined the direct and indirect relationships among the latent variables while controlling for body mass index and years since retirement. The model fit the data well, supporting the hypothesized direct and indirect relationships among the variables and explaining 54% of the variance in bulimic symptomatology. Despite no longer being exposed to sport pressures that contribute to eating disorders, female athletes experience such symptoms long into retirement.
Alexander Brian Yu, Thomas Nguyen, and Trent Petrie
As racially diverse, early-career sport psychology consultants (SPCs), we reflect on our experiences working with collegiate athletes and coaches whose racial/ethnic status were different from our own. Our reflections cover (a) the external effects of stereotypes, presence (and pernicious effects) of microaggressions, and strategies for effectively coping with such transgressions; (b) stereotype threat and how Jeremy Lin’s entry into the NBA affected our self-perceptions; and (c) a call to action to further promote a multicultural approach to sport psychology training, research, and practice. In sharing these thoughts, we hope to promote further dialogue in the emerging field of cultural sport psychology.
Laura D. DiPasquale and Trent A. Petrie
Eating disorder prevalence rates among athletes vary greatly because of the different ways in which researchers have measured and classified them, and the extent to which they are higher than those found among nonathletes remains unresolved. The present study examined prevalence of eating disorders, body image issues, and weight control behaviors using a valid diagnostic measure. Participants included 146 male and 156 female NCAA Division I student-athletes and a matched sample of 170 male and 353 female collegiate nonathletes. Overall, eating disorder prevalence rates and use of pathogenic weight control behaviors were lower among nonathletes than athletes. Rates for athletes in the current study were lower than previous studies. These findings are likely due to the lack of anonymity the athletes had when completing questionnaires, as data were collected through athletes’ preseason physicals, whereas nonathletes completed questionnaires anonymously over the Internet. Recommendations for athletic departments’ screening for eating disorders are made.
Megan Drew, Trent A. Petrie, and Tess Palmateer
College student athletes face unique, sport-related stressors that may lead to, or exacerbate, mental health (MH) concerns and symptoms. Although the National Collegiate Athletic Association has identified MH screening as a best practice, minimal data exist regarding contemporary screening practices. We explored National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I (DI), Division II (DII), and Division III (DIII) athletic departments’ current MH screening practices (N = 264). Compared with DII/DIII (53%), a greater percentage of Division I (89%) conducted formal MH screening. At DII/DIII institutions, athletic trainers were more likely to both administer and review screeners than any other sports medicine professional; sport psychologists primarily oversaw these tasks at DI schools. DI, compared with DII/DIII, institutions were more likely to have had a student athlete attempt suicide (62% vs. 40%) and participate in inpatient treatment (69% vs. 43%). There is a clear need for the National Collegiate Athletic Association to continue to promote policies that support MH screening and to create mechanisms in which it can monitor institutional involvement.
Kayla W. Carrigan, Trent A. Petrie, and Carlin M. Anderson
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.
Justine Chatterton, Trent A. Petrie, Keke L. Schuler, and Camilo Ruggero
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; M age = 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.
Carlin M. Anderson, Trent A. Petrie, and Craig S. Neumann
In this study, we tested Petrie and Greenleaf’s (2007) model of bulimic symptoms in two independent samples of female collegiate swimmers/divers and gymnasts. Structural equation modeling revealed support for the model, although it also suggested additional pathways. Specifically, general societal pressures regarding weight and body were related to the internalization of those ideals and, subsequently, to increases in body dissatisfaction. Pressures from the sport environment regarding weight and appearance were associated with more body dissatisfaction and more restrictive eating. Body dissatisfaction was related to more feelings of sadness, anger, and fear among the athletes. Negative affect, body dissatisfaction, and dietary restraint were related directly to bulimic symptoms, accounting for 55-58% of its variance. These results suggest that general sociocultural pressures are influential, but weight and appearance pressures in the sport environment may be even more pervasive and negative for female athletes.
Christy Greenleaf, Trent Petrie, Justine Reel, and Jennifer Carter
Petrie and Greenleaf (2007) presented a psychosocial model of disordered eating for female athletes. Based upon the 2007 model, the present study examined four key psychosocial variables: internalization, body dissatisfaction, restrained eating, and negative affect, as predictors of bulimic symptoms among NCAA Division I female athletes. Two hundred four women (N = 204) participated and were drawn from three different universities and competed in 17 different varsity sports. After controlling for the effects of body mass and social desirability, hierarchical regression analysis showed that the psychosocial variables explained 42% of the variance in bulimic symptoms. In the full model, higher levels of body dissatisfaction, more dietary restraint, and stronger feelings of guilt were associated with bulimic symptomatology. Internalization of the sociocultural ideal as well as feelings of fear, hostility, or sadness were unrelated.