Justine Myers

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Umoren, Josephine M.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Health Studies


Nutrition; Mental health; Kinesiology


The cross country running environment places an increased emphasis on body size that can lead to manipulation of eating behaviors to obtain the perceived ideal competitive body. Understanding body image within/outside the sport of cross country running may give insight into development of negative body image and/or disordered eating. A quasi-experiment was conducted using a convenience sample of collegiate cross-country runners competing at Illinois NCAA colleges (n=85; 30 male, 55 female). Participants completed the Body Image Assessment Scale -- Body Dimensions (BIAS-BD), Contextual Body Image Questionnaire for Athletics (CBIQA), and Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Related and independent-samples t-tests, Wilcoxon Signed Ranks, Spearman Rank Order Correlations, ANOVAs, and Mann Whitney U-tests were ran. The results revealed that collegiate cross country runners displayed significant body dissatisfaction (p = 0.000) and perceived an underweight BMI to be ideal for their sport. Runners tended to view themselves as heavier when compared to the standards of their sport (Mdn = 4.25) than the standards of the general public ( Mdn = 3.83), Z = 2,016.0, p = 0.000. Competitive body image in terms of thin-fat self (r s = 0.699, p = 0.000) and thin-fat others ( rs = 0.621, p = 0.000) body image subscales had the strongest correlations with disordered eating.


Advisors: Josephine Umoren.||Committee members: Judith Lukaszuk; Amy Ozier.||Includes bibliographical references.


151 pages




Northern Illinois University

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