Re-examination of Athletic Departments’ Eating Disorder Policies and Procedures at NCAA Division I Universities

Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Jessica Bartley

Second Advisor

Lynett Henderson Metzger

Third Advisor

Justin Ross


Eating disorder, Sport, Health, NCAA, Policy


The purpose of this study was to re-examine the current prevalence and content of athletics eating disorder policies in FBS Division I universities, and compare results to those identified by this researcher in the original 2017 study. Documentary analyses and semi-structured interviews with university athletics personnel were conducted to determine current policies, procedures, and other resources used to manage disordered eating in athletics. The comparison of policies between the two studies showed a small increase in prevalence of policies in 2020 compared to 2017, including those publicly available on web-searches. Comparison of policy themes showed consistency over the years, with slightly more emphasis on use of multidisciplinary treatment teams and integrated approaches to care in policies found in 2020 compared to 2017.

University personnel responding to research requests confirming policies cited their desire to provide clear guidance how to navigate such sensitive issues as their primary reason for having policies. Those personnel stating their universities did not have policies primarily referenced concerns that a formal policy may restrict their ability to provide individualized approaches to care. Qualitative results from discussions with university personnel suggested desire to identify eating disorder concerns early, provide individualized and integrated approaches to care, focus on overall health and safety, encourage staff and provider training in eating disorders and sport psychology, and develop policies and procedures that meet each department's specific needs.

Publication Statement

Copyright held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


48 pgs

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