Eating disorder behaviors of ethnically diverse urban female adolescent athletes and non-athletes

J Adolesc. 1999 Jun;22(3):379-88. doi: 10.1006/jado.1999.0229.


This study compared Caucasian, Hispanic, and African-American urban adolescent athlete and non-athlete females for relative frequency of behavioral and psychological indices of eating disorders, while controlling for physical size. High school female athletes (n=571) and non-athletes (n=463) completed the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI) composed of eight subscales that measure behavioral and psychological indices common in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The MANCOVA for the main effect of ethnicity showed Caucasians and Hispanics scored significantly higher than African-Americans on six of the eight behavioral and psychological subscales of the EDI (p<0. 05). A MANCOVA for the main effect of athletic status showed no significant differences between athletes and non-athletes on the behavioral subscales of the EDI (p>0.05). This study suggests that Hispanic and Caucasian urban adolescent females are comparably more at-risk for eating disorders than African-American urban adolescent females. In addition, athletes were no more at-risk than non-athletes for eating disordered behaviors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / ethnology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology
  • Humans
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sports*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urban Population
  • White People / psychology