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athletic careers at younger ages, exposing an increasing number of them to potential

injury. This trend is particularly evident in women’s gymnastics (Caine, Cochrane,

Caine, & Zemper, 1989). Anxiety has been the psychological factor most commonly

linked to these sporting injuries, and there are reports of a high frequency of injuries in

gymnastics (Kolt & Kirkby, 1994). Elite gymnasts were found to have the highest

anxiety level when compared to elite athletes from eight different sports. Little

attention has been paid to the relationship of anxiety and injury in gymnastics. Kolt and

Kirkby tested 115 competitive gymnasts with the POMS-Bipolar Form (POMS-BI; Lorr

& McNair, 1982) and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2; Vealey,

1990) and found that gymnasts with four or more injuries scored higher on the CSAI-2

and the POMS-BI for measures of anxiety and tiredness, and lower scores on

composure and feeling energetic. The question that might be asked is whether the

gymnasts were more anxious and therefore became injured, or, were they more anxious

because they have been injured. The answer to this question needs to be determined

before any real conclusions can be made.

Another area that has been getting quite a bit of attention, especially in sports

like gymnastics is that of eating disorders, where pressure to keep a specific body type

has led to unhealthy eating styles. For example, Petrie (1993) showed that more than

60% of gymnasts in his study met the criteria for one of the intermediate disordered

eating categories, while only 22% reported eating behaviors that could be classified as

normal or non-disordered. For the interested reader, LeUnes (2002) provides a

summary of studies concerning eating disorders in athletes.

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