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Disordered athletes

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  • Kathleen Pantano, an assistant professor of physical therapy at Cleveland State University found that only
  • If a 14 year-old gymnast is late for practice, a coach immediately identifies this type of deviance and acts on the spot to eliminate it. However, when the same gymnast engages in unhealthy eating behaviors to lose weight as she strives for distinction and pursues her dream, many coaches, parents and gym owners don’t see this as deviance or they don’t want to interfere with the mindset of a “champion” and the culture of the gym – until of course, stress fractures interfere with competition and weight loss puts their athlete and daughter in the hospital.

Disordered athletes Disordered athletes Presentation Transcript

  • Disordered Athletes WHICH ONE IS IT? Deviance in Athletic Sport Ethic Sharon Chirban, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist/ Sport Psychology Consultant Children’s Hospital Boston Division of Sports Medicine
    • Sport Ethic
    • is a set of norms that many athletes in power and performance sports have accepted as the dominant criteria for defining what it means to be an athlete and to successfully claim an identity as an athlete.
  • Elements of Sport Ethic
        • Athlete must make sacrifices for the “game” or “the sport.”
        • This norm stresses that athletes must love “the game” above all else and prove it by giving the game priority over other interests.
  • Elements of Sport Ethic
    • An athlete strives for distinction. “citius, altius, fortius” (swifter, higher and stronger) captures the meaning of this norm.
    • Being an athlete means constantly seeking to improve and to achieve perfection.
  • Perfectionism
    • Not “good enough”
    • When does the endless pursuit of “more” backfire?
    • Out of balance
        • An athlete accepts risks and plays through pain. According to this norm, an athlete does not give in to pressure, pain or fear.
        • An athlete accepts no limits in the pursuit of possibilities. This norm stresses the “dream” and the obligation to pursue it without question.
    • These four norms of the sport ethic are deeply rooted in the culture of today’s power and performance sports.
    • By themselves, these norms call for actions and orientations valued by people in society as a whole: making commitments and sacrifices, striving for improvement, pushing yourself even when things are difficult or painful, and pursuing dreams.
    • LOST TO ANOREXIA
    For a runner, Alex DeVinny wasn ’t all that skinny on the day that she won a state track title in 2003. At 17, she was 5-foot-8 and weighed 125 pounds. Last March, Ms. DeVinny died from cardiac arrest related to her starvation. She was 20 and weighed roughly 70 pounds.
  • When Varsity Fit Masks Anorexia
    • 43 % of the 91 college coaches for women’s athletics surveyed could name the elements of the Female Athlete Triad.
    • The survey also found that 24 % mistakenly thought that nonexistent or irregular periods were natural consequences of vigorous exercise rather than the telltale signs of nutritional deficiency.
    • In 2003, the NCAA surveyed over 2800 coaches about disordered eating, and found that only 19% of men and 26% of women were aware of the seriousness of amenorrhea, defined as menstrual dysfunction for three or more months.
    • "Kerri listen to me. “You can do it,"
    • said USA coach Bela Karolyi as Kerri Strug readied for her second and final vault during the team competition at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
    • Heading into their final event, the vault, the U.S. had a lead over Russia and it looked liked the U.S. had its first gold in the team combined exercises all sewn up. That is until teammate Dominique Moceanu fell down on both her vaults and Strug's first attempt also ended in a fall. Serious doubt crept into the thoughts of 32,000 spectators and Karolyi let her know that she needed to land her second and final vault in order to seal it. The only problem, aside from the avalanche of pressure on the 18-year-old, was that Strug had felt a pop in her ankle on her first vault and could barely walk, let alone sprint down the runway and fling herself up and over the horse to land with great purpose onto only one good leg.
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsQcwHc1Jfw
    • Somehow Strug gritted her teeth, thinking that the team's gold medals all depended on this final vault (in actuality they didn't, but no one knew that at the time), and got the job done with a solid landing before collapsing in pain onto her hands and knees.
    • The bear-like Karolyi scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the award ceremony to collect her gold medal and the rousing ovation from the packed house.
    • Strug, with two torn ligaments in her ankle from her courageous effort, was left unable to compete in any individual events.
  • Deviance and the Sport Ethic
    • Deviance occurs when the norms of the sport ethic are accepted uncritically, without question and qualification, and then followed without limits, without setting or acknowledging boundaries.
  • Deviant Overconformity
    • Female Athlete Triad Overtraining
    • Overuse injuries
    • Burnout/Overtraining
    • Illicit Substance Abuse/ Performance Enhancement Drugs
  • Why Overconform?
    • Most athletes don’t see overconformity as deviance, they see it as reaffirming their identities as athletes and their membership in select sport groups.
  • Who Over-conforms?
    • Low self-esteem
    • High need for acceptance
    • Age of the athlete
    • Breadth of the athletic identity
  • Why Overconform?
    • Athletes who see achievement in sports as their only way to get ahead, make themselves a name, and become important in the world.
    • Deviant over-conformity is subversive, because it is widely ignored.
  • Symptoms of Exercise Dependence
    • withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depressions when they are unable to work out
    • limit social relationships to exercise
    • professional or school begins to suffer
    • continue to exercise despite injuries
  • Obligatory or Excessive Exercisers
    • Pathogenic exercise or exercise addiction have been used to describe individuals who are consumed by the need for physical activity to the exclusion of everything else and to the point of damage and danger to their lives.
  • Signs and Symptoms of Activity Disorder
    • Obsessive concerns about being fat, body dissatisfaction, binge eating
    • Person maintains a high level of activity and is uncomfortable with states of rest or relaxation
  • Signs and Symptoms of Activity Disorder
    • there is an intense, driven quality to the activity that becomes self-perpetuating and resistant to change, compelling the person to continue while feeling the lack of ability to control or stop the behavior
    • only the overuse of the body can produce the physiological effects of deprivation (secondary to exposure to the elements, extreme exertion, and rigid dietary restriction) that are an important component perpetuating the disorder
  • Signs and Symptoms of Activity Disorder
    • Activity disordered persons will use rationalization and other defense mechanisms to protect their involvement in the activity.
  • Signs and Symptoms of Activity Disorder
    • Although there is no particular personality profile or disorder, the activity disordered person’s achievement orientation, independence, self-control, perfectionism, persistence and well-developed mental strategies can foster significant academic and vocational accomplishments in such a way that they appear as healthy, high-functioning individuals.