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Eat Disord. 2017 May-Jun;25(3):199-215. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2016.1258940. Epub 2016 Nov 29.

A qualitative analysis of factors related to eating disorder onset in female collegiate athletes and non-athletes.

Author information

1
a Department of Health and Human Development , Western Washington University , Bellingham , Washington , USA.
2
b Department of International Affairs , University of St. Andrews , Fife , Scotland , UK.
3
c Department of Health Sciences, College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences , Boston University , Boston , Massachusetts , USA.

Abstract

Female athletes are at risk for clinical eating disorders, yet their onset experiences have rarely been studied with qualitative methods. This study, which included interviews with 12 collegiate female athletes and 17 non-athletes, identified factors that contributed to eating disorder onset for both subgroups. Inductive content analysis revealed that low self-worth, peer issues, and comorbid psychological disorders were common in both groups. However, athletes reported sport-specific factors including performance pressure, team weigh-ins, and injuries, whereas family dysfunction, bullying, and puberty were more commonly reported triggers for non-athletes. Findings support prevention and treatment programs customized for unique vulnerabilities for each subgroup.

PMID:
27897463
DOI:
10.1080/10640266.2016.1258940
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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