Eating Disorder Policies Among NCAA Division I Intercollegiate Athletic Programs
In a survey sent to the senior women's administrator at all three hundred and thirty (N= 330) NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletic departments across the nation, this study examines the differences between Division I athletic department's having an eating disorder (ED) policy and those that that do not and the variables that lead to those differences. Over a 12-month period, from March 2004 through March 2005, one variable that this study addresses is whether having an ED policy influences the number of reported incidences. Likewise, another variable is whether education on ED for the student-athletes influences the number of reported incidences. Lastly, the final variable investigates those intercollegiate athletic departments that have other policies for their student-athletes such as alcohol, tobacco, and drug, and whether this influences having an ED policy.
As the following research indicates, ED primarily affects the female gender. In addition, although ED are deemed a medical issue in which the head athletic trainer or the team physician is likely to work closely in treating the athlete, the senior women's administrator is chosen to complete the survey because of their gender, and this study focuses more on the policy itself, from an administrative prospective. For those universities surveyed who do not have such a policy, this paper examines the need, along with the legal responsibilities that intercollegiate athletic programs have toward their student-athletes concerning ED.