Eating d isorders in male athletes: psychosocial factors associated with anorexia athletica and muscle dysmorphia

Auteur Lisa Chaba
Directeur /trice Vanessa Lentillon Kaestner Fabienne Longeville
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse This research project focuses on eating behaviors and deviations in male athletes. We are particularly interested in two eating deviations related to sport practices: (a) anorexia athletica observed in some competitive sports and (b) eating deviations related to muscle dysmorphia. These eating deviations have received little attention among male athletes and have always been analyzed separately in previous research. Male athletes suffering from anorexia athletica and muscle dysmorphia are characterized by a same central drive, a change in physical appearance, to improve sport performance in anorexia athletica and to be more muscular in muscle dysmorphia. Moreover, sport and specific diet are used in both disorders and deviations are common; that is why we have chosen to analyze both phenomena in this study. Some sports are more frequently involved in the development of eating disorders (ED) and are considered “at risk”. Bodybuilding often relates to muscle dysmorphia. Endurance sports, weight division sports, sports with vertical moves, aesthetic sports often relate to anorexia athletica. Based on a psychosocial approach, the objective of this research is to better understand ED among male athletes by considering psychosocial factors associated with these disorders. Our approach, using a common methodology for the analysis of these two disorders, will allow us to highlight similarities and differences between these two types of disorders. This study is composed of three parts: a validation study (study 1), an exploratory qualitative study (study 2), and a quantitative study (study 3). The French version of the Eating Disorder Assessment for Men (EDAM) and of the Drive for Muscularity Scale (DMS) will be validated on approximately 400 male university students (study 1). Ten exploratory interviews are planned with competitive male athletes (5) and bodybuilders (5) to help to identify the most influential psychosocial factors related to ED in male athletes (study 2). Finally a quantitative study by questionnaires will permit to better understand the main factors associated with these ED (study 3). A total of 200 questionnaires will be collected from male athletes over 16 years in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and France: 100 in sports at risk for developing muscle dysmorphia, 100 in sports at risk of anorexia athletica (i.e., athletics, martial arts, and climbing)
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