The Female Athlete Triad is a pervasive, multifactorial morbidity among college athletes. The geographic disparity of female athlete triad awareness and access to resources in NCAA is unknown. PURPOSE: To determine geographic disparities in awareness of Triad components and resource access in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). METHOD: Division I-III NCAA compliance officers were sent an email containing a request to disseminate a web-based survey to cross country coaches in their respective conferences. The web-linked instrument included: a study synopsis; an informed consent statement, and; the IRB-approved survey tool. Respondents were grouped geographically based upon conference headquarters location, regions included; Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Statistical analysis, using JMP software, included frequency distributions and chi-square tests for categorical association. RESULTS: Coaches (n = 143; age = 40.7 ± 11.9 years; coaching experience = 14.1 ± 10.3 years) from 45 conferences participated. Location impacted coaches’ awareness of the term “female athlete triad” (p = 0.0183), which was highest in the West (90%), and; lowest in the South (74%). Geography did not influence Triad component recognition (p = 0.3907) (i.e. low energy availability, amenorrhea, low bone mineral density), however; only 54% of coaches correctly identified all Triad components. Coaches who had Triad awareness were more likely to possess understanding that menstrual irregularities are not a normal result of exercise (p = <0.001). No relationship was identified between location and access to body composition technology (p = 0.2031), or; a registered dietician (p = 0.4869). However, only 30% and 53% of coaches had access to these biometric and dietetic resources, respectively. Western cross-country athletes (p = 0.0276) had the highest access to sport psychologists (50%); lowest access was in the Midwest (20%). CONCLUSION: Triad awareness and geographic resource disparities exist: Western coaches have a higher level of Triad awareness and superior access to psychological counseling, whereas; the South and Midwest had the lowest, respectively. Greater uniform access to resources amongst NCAA schools, regardless of geographic region, may positively impact Triad prevalence and outcomes.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.