Publication Date

Spring 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Holly Payne (Director), Angela Jerome, and Blair Thompson

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Eating disorders (EDs) are strikingly common among American adults. Past research has indicated that athletes in general are particularly vulnerable to developing EDs due to media pressure, athletic drive, and the population’s proclivity to perfectionism. Most ED research, both in athletic and non-athletic populations, is female-focused, as women are more likely to develop EDs. However, men are still susceptible to develop EDs and are understudied.

Links between lack of autonomy and EDs exist in familial settings, but have yet to be applied in organizational settings. This quantitative thesis sought to bridge a research gap by assessing ED levels in male NCAA Division 1 athletes and examining the relationships with perceived levels of concertive, institutional, and simple control present in athletic settings. Findings indicated that although athletes perceived different forms of control in their sport, these forms of control did not negatively affect their eating habits. Implications and direction for future research are explored.


Communication | Health Communication | Organizational Communication