Self-reported symptoms of eating disorders amongst university dance students
Eating disturbances are common amongst female athletes, especially those participating in dance. We investigated the prevalence and correlates of eating disorder risk symptoms amongst female student dancers. Fifty-eight female university dancers completed a self-report measure of eating disorders and eating disorder correlates, along with factors hypothesised to be associated with the concept, including perfectionism and anxiety. Height and body mass were measured to calculate body mass index (BMI). Results indicated that psychological variables correlated positively with eating disorder risk, and that BMI and ineffectiveness were correlates best associated with eating disorder risk for these dancers. Results indicated that the screening of dancers using a self-report measure can help to identify dancers suffering from poor psychological health of which one characteristic is disordered eating. Given the implications of well-being and performance, we suggest that future research should investigate factors associated with eating disorders and that course administrators and health practitioners consider these factors when facilitating and optimising the mental health and performance of dancers.
Keywords: Eating disorder risk, university dancers, psychological well-being.
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