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Eating disorders and disordered eating in athletes

Led by Dr Vaithehy Shanmugam, this programme of research is devoted to the advancement and development of cutting-edge research and theory about eating disorders and disordered eating among the athletic population via innovative and rigorous methodologies.

Extending upon the preliminary work which examined the prevalence and psychosocial risk factors of athletes’ eating attitudes carried out by Dr Vaithehy Shanmugam in collaboration with colleagues at Loughborough University to incorporate an all-inclusive research framework, the current highlights in the research programme include:

  • The link between early specialisation in sport and disordered eating
  • The prevalence and risk factors of eating disordered and depressive symptoms and their comorbidity
  • The influence of significant interpersonal relationships on disordered eating
  • Formulating and developing an self-help intervention directed at athletes
  • Validation of psychometric questionnaires for screening eating disordered symptoms

Project Staff

Dr Jamie Taylor

Stuart Holliday

Collaborators and Funders

Professor Caroline Meyer (Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders; LUCRED, Loughborough University, UK)

Professor Jon Arcelus (Eating Disorders Service, General Hospital

Leicester, UK; Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders; LUCRED, Loughborough University, UK)

Dr Sophia Jowett,(School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, UK)

Dr Jamie Taylor (School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, UK)

Dr John Marsh (School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, UK)

Stuart Holliday (School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, UK)

Timeline

2008-present

Public Outputs

Shanmugam, V., Jowett, S., & Meyer, C. (2011). Application of the transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioural model of eating disorders to the athletic population. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 5(2), 166-191.

Shanmugam, V., Jowett, S., & Meyer, C. (2012). Eating psychopathology amongst athletes: Links to current attachment styles. Eating Behaviors, 13(1),5-12

Jowett, S., Shanmugam, V., & Caccoulis, S. (2012). Collective efficacy as a mediator of the link between interpersonal relationships and athlete satisfaction in team sports. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. DOI:10.1080/1612197X.2012.645127

Shanmugam, V., Jowett, S., & Meyer, C. (2013). Eating psychopathology amongst athletes: The importance of relationships with parents, coaches and teammates. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. DOI:10.1080/1612197X.2012.724197