The authors assessed the relationships between external pressures to excel, competitiveness, eating disorder characteristics, and body dissatisfaction. Participants consisted of 78 male and 85 female undergraduate students at a southwestern university. Participants were split between general and athletic samples. Participants completed the Socially Prescribed Competitiveness Survey. Within the general sample, external pressures and competitiveness were both positively correlated with eating disorder characteristics and body dissatisfaction. Within the athletic sample, competitiveness was positively correlated with body dissatisfaction. For the athletic sample's women, external pressures were positively correlated with eating disorder characteristics. Although the athletic sample received more external pressure, they showed fewer eating disorder characteristics and body dissatisfaction. Differences are explained by considering gender, body mass index, dieting and exercising behaviors, and motivations to exercise and diet.
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