Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name




Faculty Mentor

Erica Ahlich


Caitlyn Hauff, Kimberly Zlomke


The aim of the study was to investigate how different sources of sociocultural pressure (family, media, peers) described in the Tripartite Influence Model, and additions of teammate- and coach pressures, were associated with thinness-and muscularity internalization and appearance comparisons among athletes. Subsequently, these potential mechanisms were explored as predictors of disordered eating among athletes. Analyses included 71 female athletes. Athletes were recruited through a student subject pool recruitment portal, as well as with local and regional flyers and emails. Participants completed a series of self-report measures in Qualtrics. Hierarchical linear regression analysis was utilized to test the hypotheses. Partial support for the Tripartite Model was found. Results indicated that media pressures were significantly associated with thin ideal internalization and appearance comparisons. Teammate and coach pressures were not associated with ideal internalization or appearance comparisons. Significant associations were found between athletic ideal internalization and engagement in excessive muscle building and exercise behavior. Significant associations also were found between appearance comparisons and binge eating. This research helps highlight the importance of developing targeted interventions for athletes, with particular attention to the media, thin- and athletic ideal internalization, and appearance comparisons.


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