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.
Carlin M. Anderson, Trent A. Petrie and Craig S. Neumann
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.