The sport body image project: exploring body image among athletes in Newfoundland and Labrador

Elzen, Katherine Vanden (2018) The sport body image project: exploring body image among athletes in Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Athletes are at greater risk of developing body image issues that can lead to eating disorders, compared to those who don’t compete in high-level sports. Both male and female athletes experience pressures to obtain a certain body ideal within their sport and a certain body ideal within society. To date most body image research has focused on female athletes and very few sport-specific body image programs exist in Canada. This thesis aims to understand the experiences of five men and five women athletes with body image in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada, through the use of digital storytelling (DS). In this qualitative study, participants completed a two-day workshop where they learned about DS, partook in a focus group, and created their own stories. Data collection consisted of digital stories, focus groups, and individual interviews. The data was analysed through a critical feminist standpoint theoretical lens. Four main findings emerged from the data: body image development is influenced by sport culture and society, body ideals are expressed through sport success, sport is a vehicle for “healthy body” discourses, and there is a need to reimagine the sport body. The results of this study will help to highlight concerns among athletes and lead to further prevention methods within the sporting environment.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 13482
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 83-100).
Keywords: arts-based research, qualitative research, digital storytelling, male athletes, female athletes, body image, sport body
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Kinesiology
Date: October 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Body image disturbance; Athletes--Mental health.

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