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Title: Specific predictors of disordered eating among elite and non-elite gymnast and ballet dancers
Authors: Francisco, Rita 
Narciso, Isabel 
Alarcão, Madalena 
Keywords: Ballet dancers; Body Image Dissatisfaction; Disordered eating; Gymnasts; Pressure to be thin; Self-esteem; Social support
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Edizioni Luigi Pozzi
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/FCT/SFRH/SFRH/BD/27472/2006/PT 
Serial title, monograph or event: International Journal of Sport Psychology
Volume: 43
Place of publication or event: Roma
Abstract: Gymnasts and ballet dancers are considered at-risk groups for developing eating disorders. However, specific variables enrolled in this risk and the relative contribution of each one remain unclear. The present study investigated correlates of disordered eating (DE) among young female and male aesthetic performers (N = 249, mean age = 15.41, SD = 2.55) and the relation between potential individual and contextual predictors of DE. Ballet dancers (n = 113; 88.5% female) and gymnasts (n = 136; 75% female) from elite and non-elite levels completed questionnaires measuring DE, body image dissatisfaction (general and activity-specific), self-esteem, pressure to be thin and social support in their dance schools and gymnastics clubs. Differences between males and females (elite and non-elite) were analyzed among ballet dancers and gymnasts. A usefulness analysis showed that dissatisfaction with body image specific to the practice of a particular aesthetic activity is the best predictor of DE compared to dissatisfaction with body image in general, especially in dancers. In addition to self-esteem and activity-specific body image dissatisfaction, hierarchical regression analysis showed that the pressure to be thin was more important than the competitive level for understanding aesthetic performers’ DE. Social support was not predictive of DE. Structural equation modeling confirmed that self-esteem and body image dissatisfaction partially mediate the influence of pressure to be thin on DE. Some clues to possible systemic actions for preventing DE in gymnastics clubs and dance schools, which should include both aesthetic performers and coaches/teachers, are discussed.
ISSN: 0047-0767
DOI: 10.7352/IJSP2012.43.015
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CES - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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