Eating disorders in sport: a call for methodological diversity

2015-04-01T12:01:32Z (GMT) by Anthony Papathomas David E. Lavallee
From the emergence of isolated studies in the early 1980s to the concentrated and burgeoning research base of the present day, scholars within sport psychology have been motivated to address the problem of eating disorders in sport. Heavily influenced by the medical model of scientific inquiry, the extant literature offers important insights into prevalence and aetiology. Despite this progress, there is much that is poorly understood about athlete eating disorders and existing approaches are vulnerable to considerable critique. This paper highlights some of the fundamental problems with the medical model and argues that its current dominance has created an overly narrow knowledge base. It is proposed that an increase in qualitative, interpretive accounts, that prioritize the subjectivity of experience over the serialization of symptoms, is necessary if we are to achieve a balanced and more complete understanding of eating disorders in sport.