Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychological Factors Related to Eating Disordered Behaviors: A Study with Portuguese Athletes

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Psychological Factors Related to Eating Disordered Behaviors: A Study with Portuguese Athletes

Article excerpt

This study analyzes eating disordered behaviors in a sample of Portuguese athletes and explores its relationship with some psychological dimensions. Two hundred and ninety nine athletes (153 male, 51.2%) practicing collective (65.2%) or individual sports (34.8%) were included. The assessment protocol included the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) (Fairburn & Beglin, 1994); the Sport Condition Questionnaire (Bruin et al., 2007; Hall et al., 2007); the Sport Anxiety Scale (Smith et al., 2006); the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (Duda, 1992; Duda & Whitehead, 1998); the Cognitive Evaluation of Sport-Threat Perceptions (Cruz, 1994; Lazarus, 1991); and the Self-Presentation Exercise Questionnaire (Gammage et al., 2004). Results revealed that: i) no case of clinical significance was detected in the four dimensions of the EDE-Q simultaneously; ii) females scored higher on the EDE-Q Global Score, and athletes with the better sport results scored higher on the Restraint subscale; iii) athletes with a higher desire to weigh less scored higher on the EDE-Q Global Score; iv) athletes with lower scores on EDE-Q displayed more positive results on the psychological measures; v) several psychological dimensions were identified as predictors of eating disordered behaviors. In conclusion, the prevalence of eating disordered behaviors was negligible in this study, yet the relationship of this problem with personal, sport and psychological factors was evident.

Keywords: eating disorders, eating behaviors, sport psychology.

Este estudio analiza los trastornos alimentarios en una muestra de atletas portugueses y explora la relación de este problema con algunas dimensiones psicológicas. Participaron en el estudio 299 atletas (153 hombres, 51.2%), practicantes de modalidades colectivas (65.2%) e individuales (34.8%). El protocolo de evaluación incluyó los siguientes instrumentos: Cuestionario de Evaluación de los Trastornos Alimentarios (CETA, Fairburn y Beglin, 1994); Cuestionario de Evaluación del Estado Físico y Deportivo (Bruin et al., 2007; Hall et al., 2007); Escala de Ansiedad en el Deporte-2 (Smith et al., 2006); Cuestionario de Orientación Motivacional para el Deporte (Duda, 1992; Duda y Whitehead, 1998); Escala de Evaluación Cognitiva de la Competencia: Percepción de Amenaza (Cruz, 1994; Lazarus, 1991); y el Cuestionario de Auto-presentación en el Deporte (Gammage et al., 2004). Los resultados revelaron: i) inexistencia de valores con significación clínica en las dimensiones evaluadas simultáneamente en el CETA; ii) las mujeres presentaron valores superiores en la dimensión global del CETA y los atletas con mejores resultados deportivos asumieron una mayor tendencia para la restricción en el CETA; iii) atletas con el deseo de pesar menos obtuvieron resultados más elevados en el valor global del CETA; iv) atletas con valores inferiores en el CETA total mostraron resultados más positivos en las dimensiones psicológicas; v) diferentes dimensiones psicológicas fueron identificadas como predictoras de los trastornos alimentarios. En conclusión, y a pesar de que la prevalencia de trastornos alimentarios no fue significativa en este estudio, los resultados relativos a la relación con los factores personales, deportivos y psicológicos fueron muy evidentes.

Palabras clave: trastornos alimentarios, alimentación, psicología del deporte.

The study of the consequences of sport in athletes' development has been a major topic of research within the sport sciences' literature. In general, there is sufficient evidence to sustain the positive effects of sport in the physical and psychological condition of athletes, improving their health and feelings of well-being (Biddle & Mutrie, 2001; Buckworth & Dishman, 2002). Conversely, less attention has been given to the possible adverse outcomes of sport practice, especially when athletes' investment and dedication becomes excessive (Szabo, Frenkl, & Caputo, 1997). …

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