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Self-starvation and the performance narrative in competitive sport

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2015, 12:08 by Anthony PapathomasAnthony Papathomas, David E. Lavallee
Objectives: To provide an alternative to medical understanding of disordered eating in sport through an emphasis on personal perspectives. Design: This study draws on narrative theory to interpretively analyse the life of Holly, a female athlete who engages in severe self-starvation. Methods: More than 7 hours of life history data was gathered over a period of 8 months through unstructured interviews. Holly's story was analyzed through principles of narrative analysis, with attention afforded to both narrative content and structure. Results: Holly's life is characterized by a struggle to align her life experiences with a culturally specified "performance narrative" that lauds normative success. When neither her academic nor sporting endeavors are perceived to fulfil the achievement narrative, Holly is thrust into emotional turmoil and begins to conceive of self-starvation as a means to achieve. Conclusions: The performance narrative spans both academic and sporting cultural domains and it can play a role in athlete disordered eating.

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Psychology of Sport and Exercise

Volume

15

Issue

6

Pages

688 - 695

Citation

PAPATHOMAS, A. and LAVALLEE, D.E., 2014. Self-starvation and the performance narrative in competitive sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15 (6), pp.688-695.

Publisher

© Elsevier Ltd

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date

2014

Notes

This article was published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise [© Elsevier] and the definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2013.10.014

ISSN

1469-0292

Other identifier

S1469029213001234

Language

en