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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 March;56(3):287-94

language: English

Collegiate coaches’ knowledge of the female athlete triad in relation to sport type

Jillian E. FRIDERES 1, Sue G. MOTTINGER 2, José M. PALAO 3

1 Private Practitioner, Kenosha, WI, USA; 2 Department of Health and Kinesiology, The University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX, USA; 3 Department of Heath, Exercise Science and Sport Management, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, WI, USA


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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine what coaches of female athletes know about the three components of the female athlete triad with regard to type of sport coached and the characteristics of the coach.
METHODS: The sample consisted of 309 NCAA Division I coaches of female athletes in the sports of: sports with subjective scoring of performance (gymnastics and diving), low body weight sports (cross country and rowing), revealing or fitted clothing (volleyball and swimming), and other (soccer and basketball). An original, self-report questionnaire, and a 4-point Likert scale to measure confidence in answer was used. The variables were: knowledge, confidence, and coach’s characteristics (coach’s gender, degree held, years of experience in coaching females, continuing education participation specific to the triad and triad components, and type of sport coached).
RESULTS: Coaches of low body weight sports scored significantly higher than both coaches of sports requiring fitted clothing and “other” sports in the overall score. They further had significantly more confidence in their answers than coaches of “other” sports. No significant differences in the overall score in any of the types of sport or total values were found regarding gender, experience, and degree. Coaches who had received training about the triad or its components scored significantly higher than coaches who did not receive training.
CONCLUSIONS: The results demonstrated a lack of information among coaches and that participating in formative training can help to reduce this problem. The results found can help in the design of continuing education for coaches.

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palaoj@uwp.edu