• 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



gymnastics, mental health, weight concerns, adolescence, anxiety


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


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

    MS, RDN


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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.

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