Date of Award:

2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Advisor/Chair:

Heidi Wengreen

Abstract

High school coaches play a huge role in establishing a healthy environment for their athletes and often students. The coach-°©‐athlete relationship has proven to be a strong and useful bond in prevention of adverse behaviors of athletes or in prevention of health problems such as concussions. The female athlete triad (triad) is a common health problem among female athletes. Many high school coaches are unaware of the triad or the serious health and performance consequences for their athletes. The triad is a syndrome marked by 3 interrelated adverse effects: decreased energy availability, menstrual dysfunction, and decreased bone mineral density.

The Purpose of this study was to develop an online educational resource aimed at educating coaches about the triad. After the online education materials were created and reviewed by small panel groups, the materials were launched online and available to the public with the aim to target high school coaches. We collected online surveys from 90 participants including coaches and parents of high school female athletes and found a lack of knowledge, attitudes, and confidence in preventing the triad. By educating coaches and providing the tools for prevention, we hypothesize that coaches can play a large role in the prevention of the triad among high school athletes and help to keep our student athletes healthy and performing well in school and sports.

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