The effects of sociocultural factors on body image in Division III female collegiate athletes

Naomi Hill, Dr. Leila Azarbad, Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, North Central College, 30 N Brainard Street, Naperville, IL 60540

Negative body image is an established risk factor for disordered eating patterns, with athletes at a higher susceptibility for developing an eating disorder than nonathletes (NEDA, 2018). Many factors influence how one perceives their body, such as family, friends, the media, and cultural norms and values. In modern American culture, the thin ideal especially targets female athletes due to the recent sociocultural shift for all women to attain a thin and athletic body composition (Varnes et al., 2012). Furthermore, coaches may also pass detrimental attitudes toward body image to their athletes (Heffner et al., 2003). The aims of this study are 1) To explore the body image satisfaction of female collegiate athletes, 2) To explore three sociocultural variables that may influence the body image satisfaction of female collegiate athletes: Family, peers, and the media, and 3) To explore how the unique coach-athlete relationship may either help or hinder athletes’ body image satisfaction. Participants will consist of 80-100 undergraduate female athletes who will complete the following measures: Figure Rating Scale (Stunkard et al., 1983); Contextual Body Image Questionnaire for Athletes (deBruin, Oudejans, Bakker & Woertmann, 2011); Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-4 (Schaefer et al., 2014); Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (Jowett & Ntoumanis, 2004); and a demographic questionnaire. IRB approval has been obtained, and after data collection is complete, I will conduct regression analyses to examine whether family, peer, media, and coach influence predict body image satisfaction in this population. Concurrent with existing research, I expect to find a predictive relationship between the health of these sociocultural variables and body image satisfaction. The results will serve as a lens into the unique niche that female athletes occupy in the realm of body image and highlight the areas of athletes’ lives that can be targeted to improve body image satisfaction in the future.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Naomi Hill

Institution: North Central College

Type: Poster

Subject: Psychology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 10
Date/Time: Wed 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 6642