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Virginia Wesleyan College
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Student Research Projects

Prevalence and Correlated Factors of Disordered Eating in Collegiate Athletes

Student Kimberly McKinney
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology
Course Psy 480: Original Research Project


Research suggests that elite athletes demonstrate higher frequencies of eating pathology than non-elite athletes. This study sampled female students from a Division III athletic program, and the data was compared to eating pathology norms of Division I athletes from prior studies. Participants completed questionnaires that measure eating disorder symptoms and exercise self-esteem. Uniform requirements for each sport were categorized as either conservative, mixed, or revealing. Statistical analysis was used to measure relationships among the athlete's division, uniform requirement, and self-esteem on an eating disorder measure, as well as to account for interactions among the variables. Based on prior research, I predict that athletes participating in Division I programs will report higher levels of disordered eating than Division III athletes, exercise self-esteem will demonstrate a negative correlation with disordered eating, and that athletes participating in sports which require revealing uniforms will report the highest levels of body dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms.

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