The Influence of an education program directed at dysfunctional eating on female distance runners

  • Gayelene Clews

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This study examined the effectiveness of a multi-dimensional education program in facilitating attitude changes in adolescent female athletes away from dysfunctional eating behaviours and restrictive body image. Although research is available for diagnosing and identifying the problems associated with dysfunctional eating behaviours and attitudes in female athletes, few preventative tools have been proposed in order to address the problem. This study involved the design, delivery and the evaluation of a proposed a multi-dimensional education model as a preventative tool. The research design involved 18 teenage female middle/long distance runners, aged between 13 and 19,who were registered with the ACT Cross Country Club. The study was a quantitative and qualitative investigation employing a pre and post test design and using the process of triangulation to increase the study's validity. It was proposed that a multi-dimensional education program might be effective in steering attitudes away from dysfunctional eating behaviours and body image and that a mixed method design may corroborate and elaborate on the findings of the study to strengthen the understanding of the potential benefits of such an education program has to its participants. Results showed that education proved to be a successful tool in facilitating attitudinal changes in a positive direction, across a number of variables such as menstrual functioning, nutrition, flexibility,
    strength, and general awareness, on what constitutes a balanced healthy athletic body.
    Date of Award1999
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJohn Gross (Supervisor)

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