Project Title

Investigating Eating Disorder Characteristics Across Male Athletes

Academic department under which the project should be listed

Data Science and Analytics

Research Mentor Name

Michael Frankel

Abstract (300 words maximum)

When you think of an athlete, who do you picture; a muscular male playing football, a petite female doing ballet? Have you ever considered how these stereotypes effect athletes and their mental health? When talking about eating disorders in athletes, male athletes are typically left out of the conversation since eating disorders aren’t commonly associated with males. Past research found an increase in male eating disorders in the recent years. Our work was done to see if there were implications in male athletes. We used a dataset from National Library of Medicine that collected information from athletes aged 18 years old and above at all levels of competition. The dataset also classified the sports played into lean or non-lean sports. The athletes answered questions from the EDE-Q, which is the leading questionnaire used when diagnosing an eating disorder. The EDE-Q is broken up into four parts, restraint, eating concern, weight concern, and shape concern. In this study, we looked at shape concern and eating concern. We specifically wanted to investigate the interaction of the variables of gender and sport type to see how shape concern, eating concern, and EDE-Q global score was affected. We predicted that athletes participating in lean sports would have an overall higher EDE-Q. We also predicted that female athletes would have higher EDE-Q scores. We found that male athletes scored significantly higher that female athletes in all subcategories of the EDE-Q. We also found when looking at the interaction of gender and sport type, male athletes in non-lean sports scored higher in shape concern and eating concern.

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Quantitative Psychology

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Investigating Eating Disorder Characteristics Across Male Athletes

When you think of an athlete, who do you picture; a muscular male playing football, a petite female doing ballet? Have you ever considered how these stereotypes effect athletes and their mental health? When talking about eating disorders in athletes, male athletes are typically left out of the conversation since eating disorders aren’t commonly associated with males. Past research found an increase in male eating disorders in the recent years. Our work was done to see if there were implications in male athletes. We used a dataset from National Library of Medicine that collected information from athletes aged 18 years old and above at all levels of competition. The dataset also classified the sports played into lean or non-lean sports. The athletes answered questions from the EDE-Q, which is the leading questionnaire used when diagnosing an eating disorder. The EDE-Q is broken up into four parts, restraint, eating concern, weight concern, and shape concern. In this study, we looked at shape concern and eating concern. We specifically wanted to investigate the interaction of the variables of gender and sport type to see how shape concern, eating concern, and EDE-Q global score was affected. We predicted that athletes participating in lean sports would have an overall higher EDE-Q. We also predicted that female athletes would have higher EDE-Q scores. We found that male athletes scored significantly higher that female athletes in all subcategories of the EDE-Q. We also found when looking at the interaction of gender and sport type, male athletes in non-lean sports scored higher in shape concern and eating concern.