Psychosocial Characteristics and Eating Attitudes in Young Elite Figure Skaters in Canada and France: Are There any Country Differences?

By Stéphanie Scoffier-Mériaux, Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Christiane Trottier, Élise Marsollier

This study compared differences in psychosocial characteristics and eating attitudes between young French and Canadian figure skaters. A total of 221 elite figure skaters, 101 Canadian and 120 French, participated in the study. Disordered eating attitudes and six psychosocial variables including sport friendship quality, coach relationship quality, parent relationship quality, perceived peer acceptance, physical ability and physical appearance, were measured using questionnaires. Canadian figure skaters demonstrated a higher relationship quality with sports friends, parents, and coaches, higher perceived physical ability and appearance, and a higher level of disordered eating attitudes compared to their French counterparts; however, French figure skaters reported higher scores of peer social acceptance. In both groups, significant positive relationships were observed between coach relationship quality and sport friendship quality, parent relationship quality and perceived physical ability or physical appearance, peer acceptance and perceived physical ability. Perceived physical ability was negatively related to disordered eating attitudes in the Canadian group, but positively associated in the French group. In conclusion, specific associations between coach-athlete relationship quality, perceived physical ability and eating disorders were observed among the French elite skaters compared with the Canadian skaters suggesting cultural differences between the two countries.


  • culture
  • eating disorders
  • eating attitudes
  • French
  • Canadian
  • figure skating
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