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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Stevenson, Joan C.
Campbell, Sarah K.
Lindsey, Billie J.
Mosher, M. J. (Anthropologist)
High performance female athletes can jeopardize their health if their energy requirements during preparations for competitions are excessive. The problems that result are called the Female Athlete Triad characterized by low energy availability with or without disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction/ amenorrhea, and osteoporosis and either alone or in combination can lead to more serious pathologies. The goal here is to determine whether intercollegiate female athletes exhibit elements of the triad at Western Washington University. Sixteen athletes from Western Washington University's soccer and cross-country program were recruited. Participant's average age was 19.24 years with an average height of 65.83 inches, average weight at 131.69 lbs and 23.08% body fat and 21.43. Each participant provided 72 hour dietary recall, and kept daily records on menstrual cycle changes and daily activities during and after the competitive season. Body composition and bone density was assessed during and after the season. Also collected daily, were urine samples for measures of estrogen, progesterone and cortisol (a stress marker). None of the athletes suffered from all three components of the triad but fourteen were deficient in caloric intake and many were in macronutrient intakes (Deficiencies: sixteen for Vitamin D.; ten for calcium; thirteen in magnesium; nine in iron and all for potassium). Caloric intake remained the same even during competition while expenditure differed significantly (p=0.05). Estrogen and progesterone levels were lower but not pathologically lower during the competitive season.
Western Washington University
Subjects – Names (LCNAF)
Western Washington University--Students--Health and hygiene
Subject – LCSH
Women college athletes--Health and hygiene; Eating disorders; Amenorrhea; Osteoporosis
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Langenberg, Colby, "The female athlete triad in a subsample of female WWU athletes" (2010). WWU Graduate School Collection. 99.