ERIC Number: ED338578
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Mar-31
Reference Count: 0
Concerns and Education Regarding Issues of Weight Control and Female Athletes: Body Image and Female Athletes.
An examination of the interaction of social and cultural influences on body image development may yield an explanation for the development of eating disorder behavior, especially in understanding the special problems facing women athletes. There appear to be two major sociocultural factors influencing the development of body image in the population of young women (15-25 years old) most likely to be affected with eating disorders: (1) the onset of the feminist movement which may have contributed to role and identity confusion and (2) the emphasis on thinness for women that emerged during the 1960s. There are three factors that cause disturbance to a smoothly developing body image: biological change; environmental change; and interactional change. As a child matures in thinking abilities, what was once an objective appreciation of body size and physical limitations soon becomes more abstract and qualitative. From that point on, social norms and social experiences dominate the final development of self-image. Increased physical exertion and stimulation tend to facilitate keener body awareness and sense of well-being and therefore enhance satisfaction with body parts. Women athletes clearly indicate more positive feelings toward their bodies than nonathletic women, especially with regard to energy levels and health. Sixty-three references are given. (IAH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Eating Disorders
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (New Orleans, LA, March 31, 1990).