The psychology of marathon running was studied by employing the cognitive strategies of association and dissociation (Morgan, 1978; Morgan & Pollock, 1977). Two shortcomings in the current literature were cited. These included the failure to study marathon runners in an actual race and the absence of an acceptable theory to explain the use of these strategies. In the present research, runners participating in a marathon were utilized and measures of dissociation, association, performance time, injury, and reasons for running a marathon were taken. The results indicated that motivations may have accounted for the use of cognitive strategies and that injury was not related to dissociation, as previously hypothesized. Additionally, runners overwhelmingly preferred to associate. A new theory regarding the use of these strategies was offered.
Kevin S. Masters and Michael J. Lambert
Renée M. Parker, Michael J. Lambert and Gary M. Burlingame
The present study was conducted to determine if female distance runners who report engaging in pathological food behaviors display the psychological characteristics of clinically diagnosed female eating-disordered patients. Comparisons were made among 29 eating-disturbed college runners, 31 normal college runners, 19 clinically diagnosed eating-disordered patients, and 34 nonathletic, non-eating-disordered college students. Measures included a 3-day diet journal, questionnaires collecting both personal information and information on eating behaviors and sports participation, the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), the Setting Conditions for Anorexia Nervosa Scale (SCANS), and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). Without reaching eating-disordered clinical levels, the eating-disturbed runners appeared on psychological inventories as being more concerned with food and dieting than were the comparison runners and non-eating-disordered nonathletes. Only the eating-disordered group presented with significant levels of psychopathology. Implications for the athletic community are discussed.