Taylor & Francis Newsroom

, Oxford.

Good news for couch potatoes: 3D TV may be the victim of negative preconceptions

Although it is yet to truly become a phenomenon, the debate about viewer experience with 3D TV is far from over. But things may be looking up for the technology, announces a new study investigating user experience of stereoscopic 3D TV recently published in Ergonomics.

An academic from Newcastle University, UK, has led a lab-based research, involving 433 viewers of ages from 4 to 82 years, in which participants were asked to watch Toy Story in either 2D or 3D (S3D) and report on their viewing experience. The objective of the study was to investigate visual discomfort in relation to 3D display technologies, as well as to determine the impact of people’s preconceptions on their experience of 3D TV. It’s no secret that the format hasn’t taken off in the way many had anticipated.

Research participants were asked to rate their viewing experience according to a number of parameters and soon it emerged that those watching three-dimensional content had a significantly higher incidence of adverse effects than their 2D counterparts. The team suspected that this might partly reflect a ‘nocebo effect’ – ‘an intrinsically harmless substance or procedure causing adverse effects due to negative expectations’. To shed light on the matter, the team devised a harmless ploy; two-dimensional content was shown to a number of viewers expecting to watch a 3D movie, and results were then compared with those from the 2D group. The outcome corroborated the researchers’ suspicions, confirming that, when it comes to 3D TV, some people approach it with a jaundiced eye.

This fascinating new study confirms watching S3D television can cause discomfort to a small number of viewers, but why this is remains unclear. "When cinema was first introduced, people found that very disturbing, and yet nowadays we all watch it happily," says Jenny Read, one of the authors of this research. "There is a kind of circular effect - as the technology gets better, people will use it more." 

The future may be looking brighter for S3D TV then!

About Ergonomics and the IEHF

Ergonomics, also known as human factors, is the scientific discipline that seeks to understand and improve human interactions with products, equipment, environments and systems.  The scientific journal Ergonomics is an international multi-disciplinary refereed publication, with a 50 year tradition of disseminating high quality research.

The Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (www.iehf.org), founded in 1949, is the professional body for researchers and practitioners in the field of ergonomics, with an international membership in excess of 1700.  Its aim is to promote the awareness, education and application of ergonomics in industry, commerce, public sector and government.

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00140139.2014.914581

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.  From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

Luke Antieul – Marketing Executive, Engineering Journals, Taylor & Francis Group.
Email: luke.antieul@tandf.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9777

, Philadelphia.

New Research Describes Trends in Substance Use among High School Athletes and Warns about an Increase of Prescription Pain Medication Usage

Newly published research from Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse reports on the current trends of substance use by high school student athletes and notes an increase in the use of prescription pain medications among football players.

In the United States, alcohol and marijuana use continue to threaten the collective health of American teenagers. At least half of the students enrolled in U.S. high schools consume alcohol.  Furthermore, while the term “hard drug” often applies to illicit substances such as cocaine or LSD, it also now pertains to prescription pain relievers or analgesics (e.g. methadone, opium, morphine, and codeine). “The study seeks to account for multiple determinants of substance use before attempting to draw substantive conclusions about sport-specific patterns,” writes author of the study, Bryan E. Denham.

For the research, Denham cross-tabulated quantitative data collected from the answers of 2,273 high school seniors who participated in the 2009 Monitoring the Future survey, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and conducted at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. This study divided the data based on gender and included two categorical factors—race and competitive sports participation.

Male participants in the following sports were interviewed: baseball, basketball, football, soccer, swimming and diving, and track and field. 

Female participants in the following sports were interviewed: softball, basketball, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field, and volleyball.

The results found common trends, some of which included: student athletes generally partake in illicit substance use more frequently than non-competitors, potentially due to assimilation with their peer groups. 

Among all of the sports studied, football players use the most illegal substances. Males consume more illegal substances than females. White students use substances more than African American and Hispanic classmates. Most revealing, 12 percent of males and 8 percent of females reported using analgesics in the past year, an increase from previous surveys. 

"I've studied the use of performance-enhancing substances in sports for about 15 years, and this study extended that line of research to mind-altering substances,” says Denham. “Alcohol has always been available, as has marijuana, but young people also may look to stronger drugs for euphoric effects. If prescription pain relievers are over-prescribed in certain regions, their use may trickle down to adolescents. Use of narcotic pain relievers may become a habit with some adolescent athletes."

About the Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse
www.tandfonline.com/WCAS

The Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse addresses the treatment of substance abuse in all ages of children. With the growing magnitude of the problem of substance abuse among children and youth, this is an essential forum for the dissemination of descriptive or investigative efforts with this population. The journal serves as a vehicle for communication and dissemination of information to the many practitioners and researchers working with these young people.

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1067828X.2012.750974

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
James Fischer, Marketing Associate, Journals
Email: james.fischer@taylorandfrancis.com

, Oxford.

End-of-Life Conversations Aren’t Just About Health Care

Discussing end-of-life choices with family members in a way that pays attention to how they perceive themselves and maintains your relationship with them may be more important than actually reaching decisions, according to a study recently published in Communication Monographs, a journal of the National Communication Association.

The reason is that reassuring people about shared commitment to a relationship increases their feelings of satisfaction about the conversation. And that satisfaction may have a positive impact on the health choices that are made later, in part because the person’s positive emotional response to the conversation helps them better process and remember information.

“The way an end-of-life discussion is negotiated has the potential to strengthen or undermine relationships,” says Allison M. Scott, Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Kentucky and lead author of the study. “Family communication holds a great deal of potential for improving end-of-life health care, but this potential lies in the quality of the discussions.”

At the heart of the new study is the idea that people may have more than one purpose for a conversation, including task, identity, and relational goals. In an end-of-life conversation with a parent, for example, the primary task may be to share information on options, the identity goal may be to preserve the parent’s feeling of independence, and the relational goal may be to maintain a high level of trust.

Achieving an end-of-life conversation’s goals can minimize the hurt feelings and relationship damage that can result from talking about such an emotionally charged topic. When people have positive communication experiences and negative outcomes are avoided, they’re more likely to engage in subsequent conversations about a topic.

“A common refrain among end-of-life researchers and practitioners is that families should ‘be open,’” said John P. Caughlin, Acting Head of the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and one of the study’s authors. “But our findings demonstrate that having a successful end-of-life discussion is not just about being open, and that some ways of being open are better than others.”

Openness when discussing specific health care options is beneficial, as is working to achieve other conversational goals in addition to simply sharing information. At the same time, being so open that the other person’s feelings are hurt is counter-productive.

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About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

For more information, visit natcom.org, follow us on Twitter at @natcomm, and find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalCommunicationAssociation.

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.  For more information please contact:

Marita Eleftheriadou, Marketing Co-ordinator, Journals

email: Marita.Eleftheriadou@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Taylor & Francis and the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) launch new publishing partnership

Taylor & Francis is delighted to announce a new publishing partnership with the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) from 2015, for the Veterinary Nursing Journal.

Veterinary Nursing Journal (VNJ) contains clinical articles, practice management features, news and reports pertinent to today’s veterinary nurse.

Kirstie Shield, President of the British Veterinary Nursing Association said, "BVNA Council are delighted to announce our publishing collaboration with Taylor and Francis. The BVNAs highly valued membership journal the Veterinary Nursing Journal will enjoy continued success and ongoing commitment to future development with the support and experience of our new publishers and colleagues, Taylor and Francis."

Rod Cookson, Editorial Director for Earth, Biological and Environmental Science Journals at Taylor & Francis said, “Taylor & Francis is delighted to be collaborating with the British Veterinary Nursing Association to publish Veterinary Nursing Journal. Supported by our long experience of working in the Veterinary Sciences, we look forward to the journal going from strength to strength in the coming years.”

Through the publishing partnership, VNJ will benefit from the Taylor & Francis Online platform, with functionality such as forward citation linking and advanced online publication of articles ahead of the print edition.

About the British Veterinary Nursing Association

The BVNA was formed in 1965 and is the only national body who solely represents veterinary nurses. The BVNA provides the following benefits to its members, in addition to the Veterinary Nursing Journal:

• Advises and represents veterinary nursing interests
• Supports veterinary nurses and practice staff with legal advice and support
• Discounts on CPD and books
• Regional meetings
• Bursaries.

For further information, visit the website www.bvna.org.uk or follow the BVNA on Twitter @bvnauk

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* Read the full article online:TVNJ

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Matt Peck
Taylor & Francis Journals
Email: Matthew.Peck@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Say goodbye to Naomi, Kate and Claudia. Enter ‘Ava’.

Forget top models. With haute couture turning to virtual reality, holographic versions of the world’s most in-demand models are now striding down the catwalks alongside their human counterparts. But does this mean temperamental models are on their way out?  New research has been revealed which shows it could be the end of the fashion world as we know it.

A study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education investigates the production of a realistic virtual human for animation and reveals that avatars are the way forward in a number of sectors, including fashion.

Led by two scientists at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, the research illustrates the ‘workflow for producing and animating a realistic virtual human …using infrared depth sensing technology’.  Although the study is part of a project aimed at ‘recording the motion of ballet dancers for both performance analysis and corrective coaching’ explain the authors, the techniques used to produce the avatar could have applications within a range of disciplines, including performing arts, sports and fashion.  Several investigative methods were used to bring the avatar to life; from an inertial motion capture suit fitted with sensors recording the movements of a dancer, to a BVH (Biovision Hierarchy) file providing information on skeleton hierarchy.  An infrared 3D body scanner, ordinarily employed in the dress making industry for the purpose of garment design and sizing standards development, was also utilised to translate the measurements of a scanned human subject onto a virtual character mesh. After a good deal of rigging and data processing, life was successfully breathed into the avatar by 3D modelling and animation software.

No doubt this exciting new study prepares the grounds for future investigations, and the Manchester team are already looking to take things further in the virtual environment and develop even more realistic and accurate avatars. While the focus of their research remains on dance and the development of analysis tools for corrective training, they are keen to emphasise the interdisciplinary application of their finding. With fashion design being one of the fields of operation, is the tide turning against supermodels now?

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17543266.2014.923049

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information, please contact:

Vicki Cottrell, Taylor & Francis Group

Email: vicki.cottrell@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Could tailored golf balls improve putting performance?

Elements such as trip wires, dimples and sand-grain roughness on the surface of a body have been shown to be effective in reducing drag on objects such as golf balls, which helps them fly farther.

Dimples make up the small round indentations on the golf ball. They energize the flow and induce turbulence in the layer of air next to the ball. This turbulent boundary layer can reduce drag.

The study, published in Journal of Turbulence, provides new insights into how the momentum transport is affected by the dimples and how multiple dimple rows interact to generate near wall turbulence.

Co-author Nikolaos Beratlis explains: “To most golfers the fact that a golf ball with a roughened surface can give you 150 yards more than a perfectly smooth one sounds like a paradox.” He adds: “This additional momentum that dimples give keeps the flow attached to the surface longer reducing the pressure difference between the front and back of the golf ball, thus resulting in less drag."

Results showed that the presence of the dimples triggers instabilities that cause significant momentum transport.

“These results provide guidelines for more precise separation control, which will help us tailor golf balls to individual golfers for best performance,” Nikolaos Beratlis added.

The researchers used a series of direct numerical simulations of the flow past a flat plate with two and eight rows of dimples in a staggered arrangement.

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* Read the full article online:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14685248.2014.918270

About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information, please contact:

Vicki Cottrell, Taylor & Francis Group

Email: vicki.cottrell@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

Are the motivations of a 5km runner defined by individual ability?

5.2 million US citizens participated in 5km races in 2011 and 12,500 5km events were held in the US during the same time period.  New research in Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events aims to find out what motivates 5km race participants and outline how race organisers can use the findings to their advantage when planning events.

Past research has identified the key stages experienced by a person leading up to them participating in a race to be, awareness, attraction, attachment and allegiance.  However, there are also many potential reasons why participants progress to the crucial ‘attachment’ stage, ranging from social interactions, need to compete, escapism, and improvement of self-worth through charity. The article Variation in motivations by running ability: using the theory of reasoned action to predict attitudes about running 5K races by Nicolette Bell and Amber L. Stephenson segments the target market into participants’ aims, age, skill, and ability, all of which help organisers achieve the maximum potential for their event and ensure future loyalty. This is then assessed in light of the variety of events available to both experienced and casual runners, ranging from charity fund-raisers right through to recreational challenges. 

The authors conducted a study on 512 Pennsylvanian runners, who were divided into three ability levels and surveyed as to what motivates them most: competition, altruism, health or social affiliation.  These influences were compared against other factors such as intention and level of participation.  The results were interesting, with altruism shining through as the main motivating force throughout all ability levels of runners.  Beyond that, those with greater ability were driven by the need to compete, while the less experienced runners were more concerned with improving health and making social connections.  Medium ability runners were found to have a combination of all four motivators, all of which seems to indicate that motivations do indeed differ according to ability.  Event organisers can use the findings about motivational segments to effectively tailor their event according to the needs of different participants.  For example, the more competitive athletes may be enticed to compete by time recording chips and prizes, while focusing on health benefits may be more successful for more casual competitors. 

This information is compounded by the discovery that runners who intended to run a race were almost one hundred times more likely to run that race than those who did not intend to participate. It seems that, ultimately, the way to get a runner to participate is to get them to preregister for the race. The authors observe that combining this with discounts, attractive prizes and other incentives can have a drastic impact on encouraging people to sign-up in the future. This article can be a valuable resource for a race organiser when trying to create a balanced and attractive event, as well as giving an insight into how people think when considering signing up to a 5km race.

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.   From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.  For more information please contact:

Iain Matthews, Senior Marketing Executive, Journals

Email: Iain.matthews@tandf.co.uk

, Oxford.

“Can Machines Think?” – Misidentification of humans as machines in Turing tests

Turing led a team of code breakers at Bletchley Park which cracked the German Enigma machine cypher during WWII – but that is far from being his only legacy. 

In the year of the 100th anniversary of his birth, researchers published a series of ‘Turing tests’ in the Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence; these entailed a series of five minute conversations between human and machine or human and human.  Judges were tasked with identifying whether who they were talking to was human or a computer.  Can machines be successful in ‘being human’ in real conversations?  The resultant transcripts presented in this paper reveal fascinating insights into human interactions and our understanding of artificial intelligence.

In 12 out of 13 tests the judge wrongly identified the interlocutor as machine when in fact they were human.  Turing tests were designed to study machine ‘thinking’ through language and ultimately establish if a machine could foil an interrogator into believing it were genuinely human.  So, why in this case did so many believe the reverse? 

The cursory conversations were quite one-dimensional, for example:

Judge: Do you like cooking?
Entity: no you?
Judge: Yes. Do you like eating?
Entity: yes!
Judge: What is your fav meal of all time?
Entity: i dont know there are so many?
Judge: Give me one then
Entity: pizza you?

Did such mundane talk give the impression of being machine generated?  Other transcripts revealed humour, geographical and historical knowledge, a lack of general knowledge, evasion, misunderstanding, dominance and use of slang.  All of these are traits associated with humanity, but in these instances seemed to offset the decision making process, leading the judge to the wrong choice.  This novel research in Turing tests shows that humans are not always able to recognise what is very typically human, let alone artificial intelligence.

In 1950 Turing asked “Can machines think?” The author quotes “to ‘think’ merely means ‘to be of the opinion’ or to ‘judge’, which indeed the judges were... As a result we can conclude that thinking does not require understanding or specific knowledge, although in the human case both facilities are likely to help”.

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information, please contact:

Ben Hudson, Taylor & Francis Group

Email: Benjamin.Hudson@tandf.co.uk

, Philadelphia.

Alaska’s Resources & Changing Climate Connect, Clash

Alaska’s natural resources, such as fish, metal ore, and predominately oil, play a pivotal role in the state’s economy. With the region’s recent climate changes (Alaska is on track to warm 8°F by the last quarter of the century), this has the potential to have major effects on ecosystems, as well as on the people and industries that depend on them. How can the state balance the economic potential of its undeveloped resources with the cost of their use?

Authored by Erin McKittrick, co-founder and director of Ground Truth Trekking, “A Fossil Fuel Economy in a Climate Change Vulnerable State” was featured in the May/June issue of Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development and delves deeper into these issues. 

“Climate change is a global issue. The fossil fuel industry is a global industry,” McKittrick said. “I think the most interesting thing is how here, in Alaska, those two [climate change and the fossil fuel industry] come together, and how they clash. But no one wants to talk about those connections.”

Both the risks and rewards of fossil fuel development are dramatic and clear, McKittrick said. “I think seeing how that plays out in Alaska will be an interesting case study for the world.”


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About Taylor & Francis Group
-----------------------------------------

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

For more information please contact:
Carolan DiFiore, Science and Technology Journals Marketing Assistant
Email: Carolan.difiore@taylorandfrancis.com

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, Oxford.

Eating disorders and depression in athletes: does one lead to the other?

Sport is a proven contributor to high self-esteem, confidence, positive outlook and good health.  It would be reasonable to assume then that athletes have higher than average protection from depression and dysfunctional eating?  On the contrary, athletes are considered three times more likely to develop an eating disorder and there is strong empirical evidence linking eating disorders and depression. Previous research to determine causality between the two conditions has been conflicting.  In the study, “Eating psychopathology as a risk factor for depressive symptoms in a sample of British athletes” in the Journal of Sport Sciences,  Shanmugam, Jowett & Meyer ask does depression lead to eating disorders in athletes or vice versa?

Many athletes face various stresses; pressure to train, perform well, financial hardship, as well as maintaining a balance with other aspects of their life such as study, family and friends. Athletes also face pressure to be body perfect.  Top flight athletes follow performance boosting nutritional regimes which can deprive them of the nutrients and calories needed for optimal mental health.  With statistics noted of up to 17% of competitive athletes showing symptoms of psychiatric disorders and a paucity of research on the subject, the authors conducted a time lapse study. 122 British athletes completed questionnaires assessing weight, diet history, previous eating related diagnoses and desired weight.  They were also quizzed on their attitudes to eating; restraint, fear of losing control, weight and self-image issues.  Finally they were assessed on their mental state and checked for signs of clinical depression. Six months later, the athletes BMI was checked and two studies conducted; the first examining participants’ psychological state at the start point and eating habits after six  months, and the second, eating psychopathology at outset and depressive symptoms at the end point. Results make fascinating reading and conflict with the small amount of existing previous research.

It was found by a small margin that eating and diet disturbances were a precursor to depressive tendencies.  So, why should athletes, seemingly so invincible be affected?  Low self-esteem, failure to meet exacting physical standards, regimented eating and constant negative sport related pressure all add to the mix.  How can we protect athletes from this vicious cycle? Despite high profile cases of depressed athletes such as Michael Vaughn and Ricky Hatton, there remains a lack of research and education on behalf of and amongst vulnerable athletes.  The authors call for improved education programmes on nutrition and intervention strategies to minimise the risks for athletes.  “Given that sport organisations and clubs are ethically and legally responsible for the health and welfare of athletes, it is imperative that practices that increase the risk of eating disorders are minimised as they appear to inadvertently increase the risk of depression in athletes… research needs to move beyond examining the factors that affect eating … to the factors that are affected by eating, so that a more comprehensive and holistic theoretical framework can be established.”

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About Taylor & Francis Group

Taylor & Francis Group partners with researchers, scholarly societies, universities and libraries worldwide to bring knowledge to life.  As one of the world’s leading publishers of scholarly journals, books, ebooks and reference works our content spans all areas of Humanities, Social Sciences, Behavioural Sciences, Science, and Technology and Medicine.

From our network of offices in Oxford, New York, Philadelphia, Boca Raton, Boston, Melbourne, Singapore, Beijing, Tokyo, Stockholm, New Delhi and Johannesburg, Taylor & Francis staff provide local expertise and support to our editors, societies and authors and tailored, efficient customer service to our library colleagues.

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Leah Stanley, Marketing Executive
email: leah.stanley@tandf.co.uk