CONCERNS ABOUT WEIGHT AND MENTAL HEALTH AMONG ADOLESCENT GYMNASTS: A PILOT STUDY

Authors

  • Casey Little Children's Hospital Colorado, Sports Medicine Center
  • David Howell Children's Hospital Colorado, Sports Medicine Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Aubrey Armento Children's Hospital Colorado, Sports Medicine Center; University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Amanda McCarthy Children's Hospital Colorado, Sports Medicine Center
  • Emily Sweeney University of Colorado School of Medicine

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.52165/sgj.15.2.205-212

Keywords:

gymnastics, mental health, weight concerns, adolescence, anxiety

Abstract

Weight concerns can have an effect on gymnasts’ quality of life. We examined the association between concerns about weight with self-reported anxiety levels and other psychosocial and menstrual health characteristics among child and adolescent gymnasts. Gymnasts between 8 and 18 years old completed an online questionnaire distributed by their gymnastics clubs. They also completed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7) questionnaire. Of the 73 gymnasts who completed the questionnaire, 15% reported worrying about their weight; they were significantly older and reported higher GAD-7 scores than those who did not worry about their weight. After adjusting for the independent effect of age, worrying about weight was no longer significantly associated with GAD-7 scores (adjusted odds ratio= 1.13, 95% CI=0.98, 1.30, p=0.10), beliefs about their body size (adjusted odds ratio=6.48, 95% CI=0.84, 50.1; p=0.07), or menarche (adjusted odds ratio=0.40, 95% CI=0.04, 4.14, p=0.44). We found an association between age, anxiety, and weight concerns in child and adolescent gymnasts. Healthcare providers should screen for weight concerns and increased anxiety in older gymnasts.

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Author Biographies

  • David Howell, Children's Hospital Colorado, Sports Medicine Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine

    ATC, PhD

  • Aubrey Armento, Children's Hospital Colorado, Sports Medicine Center; University of Colorado School of Medicine

    MD

  • Amanda McCarthy, Children's Hospital Colorado, Sports Medicine Center

    MS, RDN

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Published

2023-06-29

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Articles

How to Cite

Little, C., Howell, D., Armento, A., McCarthy, A., & Sweeney, E. (2023). CONCERNS ABOUT WEIGHT AND MENTAL HEALTH AMONG ADOLESCENT GYMNASTS: A PILOT STUDY. Science of Gymnastics Journal, 15(2), 205-212. https://doi.org/10.52165/sgj.15.2.205-212

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