Faculty Sponsor: Lauren Stutts
Disordered eating and body dissatisfaction are common concerns among athletes. The Tripartite Influence Model of Body Image and Eating Disturbance proposes that parents, peers, and the media are the three primary sociocultural influences that cause body dissatisfaction and, in turn, disordered eating. However, there may be other sociocultural influences affecting athletic populations. I had two main aims for the present study: 1) explored which sociocultural factors most strongly predicted disordered eating and body satisfaction in female undergraduate Division I athletes, and 2) examined differences between lean and non-lean sport athletes on sociocultural influences, disordered eating, and body satisfaction. Relative weight analyses revealed that parent, peer, media, and athlete pressures were all significant predictors of disordered eating and body dissatisfaction; however, peer influences emerged as the strongest predictor of those variables. Lean sport athletes had higher scores of athlete pressures than non-lean athletes; however, they did not differ on the other sociocultural influences, disordered eating, or body satisfaction. This study contributes to our understanding of sociocultural predictors’ differential influences on athletes’ DE and body satisfaction and the vulnerabilities of lean sport athletes, which could lead to future interventions.