Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie H. Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Michelle Lent, PhD

Second Advisor

David Festinger, PhD

Third Advisor

Jenna DiLossi, PsyD


Numerous studies have investigated whether participation in collegiate sports is a risk or protective factor for disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate potential psychosocial factors (neuroticism, peer relations, and self-esteem) that may contribute to increased risk for disordered eating or maladaptive body checking behaviors in female college athletes. This anonymous, cross sectional, online study recruited 206 participants. Participants completed screening questions, a demographic questionnaire in addition to the Eating Attitudes Test-26, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Body Checking and Avoidance Questionnaire, Inventory of Peer Influence, and Ten Item Personality Inventory. There was no significant relationship between participation in team versus individual sports on disordered eating and no significant relationship between mandatory weigh-in and body checking (p > 0.05). However, results showed a significant relationship between neuroticism and higher levels of disordered eating (p < 0.001) and diminished peer interactions (p < 0.001). Further, self-esteem predicted higher levels of disordered eating (p < 0.001), poor peer interactions (p < 0.001), and body checking (p = 0.003). As the number of females participating in competitive sports continues to increase, understanding factors that contribute to disordered eating attitudes and behaviors, including the unique contributions of the sporting environment, may help to inform prevention and screening programs. Clinical implications and future directions are also discussed.