Eating disorders and body image
Jarriel, Amanda Jackson
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This study was performed to determine what training athletic training and coaching professionals receive within the realm of body image and eating disorders that prepare them to work with female athletes. A second purpose of the study was to determine high school coaches’ and athletic trainers’ knowledge and beliefs within the realm of body image and eating disorders as compared to previous studies on collegiate professionals. And finally, as a third purpose, the perspectives of collegiate females who have previously participated in high school athletics was assessed to offer a reflection of body image related experiences in high school athletics. A curriculum scan and review of accreditation standards was performed to assess training of the professionals. A survey was sent to high schools in Georgia to evaluate the knowledge and beliefs of professionals. And focus groups were conducted with the former athletes. Eating disorder and nutrition information was found within the standards and curriculum. This suggests that graduates from these programs are receiving information on these issues. Coaching and athletic training professionals believed that these were serious issues but may lack the training and knowledge to offer support. Professionals also suggested tools that could assist these efforts in the future. Focus groups revealed numerous experiences surrounding these issues and participants offered recommendations for professionals to address athletes in these areas. By combining the results of the three study components, training and educational resources can be better tailored to professionals and individuals who offer support to female athletes with these issues.