Date of Award
Master of Science in Psychology
The purpose of the study was to examine the mean differences among collegiate student athletes and full-time college student nonathletes on measures of eating behavior, body checking, and social and personal identity. Student athletes were categorized as belonging to either a team or individual sport based on NCAA sport participation, along with gender identity. A secondary aim of the research was to conduct factor analyses on the Body Checking Questionnaire (BCQ) and Male Body Checking Questionnaire (mBCQ). The intent was to understand the structure and factor breakdown of how athletes respond to the two scales that have yet to be studied in the college student-athlete population. Scale reduction for both scales were applied with intentions for future validation in the collegiate student-athlete populations. A single survey was sent to eligible full-time college students and NCAA eligible student-athletes (n=174 student-athletes; n=85 nonathletes) via email. Analyses conducted included a 3X3 MANOVA assessing independent variables of sport type (k=3; team athlete, individual athlete, nonathlete) and gender identity (k=3; man, woman, other gender identity) on the dependent variables of eating and body checking behaviors and social/personal identity. Factor analyses were conducted using only college student-athlete data (n=174). The results showed significant gender differences on both eating behavior (F (2, 246) =13.716, p < 0.001, partial eta2 = 0.103, power=0.998) and body checking behaviors (F (2, 246) =26.374, p < 0.001, partial eta2 = 0.181, power=1.000), with women having higher mean scores compared to men and other gender. Further, there was a significant multivariate interaction of gender and sport on the set of five dependent variables, assessing eating behavior, female and male body checking behaviors, and social, and personal identity, (F (15, 649.133) = 2.496, p < 0.001, partial eta2 =0.050, power=0.983), showing that women and those identifying as other gender scored significantly higher on the female body checking measure than the men did, regardless of sport type. In contrast, nonathletes identifying as men reported higher scores on the male body checking questionnaire than those identifying as women and other gender. However, those identifying as women team-sport athletes or other gender individual-sport athletes reported higher scores on the male body checking questionnaire than the men did. Overall, sport type had no significant mean differences on eating behaviors and body checking behaviors outside of the interaction. Factor analyses maintained high internal consistency for the BCQ and mBCQ reduced-item scales which retained measurement reliability and may reduce administration time to college athletes as original compiled versions were 42-items total down to 23-items.
Cirella, Stephen M. Jr., "EXAMINING EATING BEHAVIOR, BODY IMAGE, AND SOCIAL IDENTITY AMONGST NCAA STUDENT-ATHLETES" (2022). Open Access Master's Theses. Paper 2145.