Exploring the relationship between sport-specific variables on eating disorder symptoms in female collegiate athletes
Eating disorders among female athletes are increasingly a concern, with a lack of clarity on the causes of eating disorder symptomatology. The researcher investigated the attributing factors to eating disorders and disordered eating by identifying four unique factors: interoceptive awareness, exercise dependence, self-surveillance, and body trust among endurance and non-endurance collegiate female athletes. Female athletes were recruited from universities across the country in all three divisions in the NCAA and NAIA. Fifty-one female collegiate athletes completed five assessments and a demographic questionnaire. The researcher tested hypotheses through multiple regression, t-tests, and correlations. A significant negative correlation was found between interoceptive awareness and self-surveillance. Interoceptive awareness predicted eating disorder risk. Endurance athletes scored higher on measures of exercise dependence and ED risk and lower on measures of IA than their non-endurance counterparts, although these differences were not significant. Clinical, policy, and practical suggestions are provided for coaches and mental health professionals.