adverse health outcomes. Athletes vulnerable to societal and sport-specific pressures have been identified as an at-risk population for negative body image, disordered eating behaviors, and eating disorders (EDs; Petrie & Greenleaf, 2007 ; Reel & Volker, 2012 ). Given the potential for weight pressures
Clara Teixidor-Batlle, Carles Ventura Vall-llovera, Justine J. Reel, and Ana Andrés
Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel
pressures in a specific sport environment ( Galli, Petrie, Reel, Chatterton, & Baghurst, 2014 ). Weight pressure is an umbrella term that encompasses any perceived pressures to change body weight, shape, size, or appearance in a sport context ( Reel & Gill, 1996 ; Reel, Petrie, SooHoo, & Anderson, 2013
Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel
In this study, the authors examined female competitive figure skaters’ experiences of weight pressure in sport. Perceptions of the ideal skating body; sources of weight pressure; ways that body image, weight-management behaviors, and athletic performance have been affected; and recommendations for improving body image were explored. Aligning with a social constructivist view (Creswell, 2014), data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Skaters described the ideal skating body in an inflexible fashion with little room for deviation and acceptance of body diversity. Skaters cited their first weightpressure experience between 7 and 14 years of age, which most notably involved coaches, parents, skating partners, and other aspects of the skating culture. These experiences were characterized as promoting body-image concerns, unhealthy weight-management strategies, and interference with the psychological aspects of on-ice performance. Results from this study demonstrate the need to construct and maintain body-positive skating environments.
Justine J. Reel, Sonya SooHoo, Trent A. Petrie, Christy Greenleaf, and Jennifer E. Carter
Previous research with female athletes has yielded equivocal findings when comparing disordered eating rates to nonathlete populations, but the rates differ for athletes in leanness and nonleanness sports (Sherman & Thompson, 2009). The purpose of the current study was to develop a measure to assess sport-specific weight pressures for female athletes. Secondly, this study identified frequencies of weight, size, and appearance pressures across sports. Participants (N =204) were female Division I athletes from three universities who represented 17 sports. Exploratory factor analysis yielded a 4-factor solution for the 16-item Weight Pressures in Sport for Females (WPS-F) scale with strong internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.90). The most frequently reported pressures among female college athletes were teammates (36.8%), uniform (34.3%), and coach (33.8%). These findings are discussed in comparison with previous research along with clinical and research implications for using the WPS-F in sport psychology settings.
Ashley Coker-Cranney and Justine J. Reel
When athletes “uncritically accept” the coaching expectations associated with their sport, negative health consequences (e.g., disordered eating behaviors, clinical eating disorders) may result. The coach’s influence on disordered eating behaviors may be a product of factors related to overconformity to the sport ethic, issues with coach communication regarding recommendations for weight management, and the strength of the coach-athlete relationship. The present study investigated perceived weight-related coach pressure, the coach-athlete relationship, and disordered eating behaviors by surveying 248 female varsity athletes and dancers from four universities. Mediational analysis revealed that the coach-athlete relationship was a partial mediating variable between perceived coach pressures and disordered eating behaviors. Subsequently, strong relationships between coaches and their athletes may reduce the negative impact of perceived weight-related coach pressure on the development or exacerbation of disordered eating behaviors in female collegiate athletes.
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.
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.
The original publication of the article Teixidor-Batlle, C., Ventura Vall-llovera, C., Reel, J. J., & Andrés, A. (2020). Validation of a Spanish-Language Version of the Weight Pressures in Sport Scale for Male Athletes, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology , 14 (3), 221–23, https://doi.org/10
Justine J. Reel, Katherine M. Jamieson, Sonya SooHoo, and Diane L. Gill
Dancers, like other athletes and performers, are faced with the pressure to obtain a particular body shape and size that stems from varied etiological factors (e.g., personality characteristics, demands of the dance environment) (Robson, 2002). This study examined specific concerns for college dancers by utilizing quantitative and qualitative forms of inquiry. The purpose of the initial phase was to assess weight-related pressures, social physique anxiety, and disordered eating in college female modern dancers (N=107) using the Weight Pressure in Dance (Reel & Gill, 1996), Social Physique Anxiety Scale (Hart, Leary, & Rejeski, 1989), and The Eating Disorder Inventory (Garner, 1991). An overwhelming majority (76%) of the dancers reported pressures to lose weight with the most commonly cited stressor being the mirror followed by costumes, performance advantage, comparison to other dancers, and landing the best roles. The mean social physique anxiety score was moderate, but 35 dancers exhibited a high degree of social physique anxiety. In addition, the dancers had a lower tendency toward disordered eating compared to college females (Garner, 1991). The second phase of the study confirmed that modern dancers experience unique pressures. Through qualitative inquiry, the participants’ individualized experiences related to body image and the culture of modern dance could be shared.
Original Research An Inductive Thematic Analysis of Female Competitive Figure Skaters’ Experiences of Weight Pressure in Sport Dana K. Voelker * Justine J. Reel * 12 2015 9 4 297 316 10.1123/jcsp.2015-0012 Psychological Skills Training in NCAA Division I Athletics: Are Athletes Ready for Change