Running addiction among Division I and Division II college-aged male and female athletes




Wallace, Tia Jaclyn

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Introduction: There is evidence that the competitive sport of college running may often develop into what is termed as a negative addiction. This negative addiction stemming from the completive nature of running has the possibility of manifesting into harmful physiological and psychological outcomes such as body image and or eating disorders. Purpose: To compare running addiction, as measured by the Running Addiction Scale (Hailey & Bailey, 1982), between Division I and II male and\or female runners. Methods: A sample of convenience was used from surrounding Division 1 and Division II colleges in the state of Texas. Participants included (N= 131 males and females Division I: N=39 male and N=27 female and Division II: N=33 male and 32 female) both scholarship and non scholarship athletes competing in events with a distance greater than one mile. The means for both males and females for age, years of competitive running, and running addiction scores were 20.32 (±1.57) years, 7.48 (±2.15), and 5.73 (±2.01). The means for males were 20.43 (± 1.66) years, 7.22 (± 2.10), and 5.27 (± 1.78). Females were 20.18 (± 1.44) years, 7.79 (± 2.19), and 6.28 (± 2.14), respectively. Results: Independent t-tests were used to compare the group means for all of the combinations of groups for college Divisions and Gender. There were significant differences between all comparisons of the running addiction scores. Conclusion: Division I runners showed a greater degree of addiction than Division II runners. Overall, the difference between genders was significant with female scores being the highest. However, no differences were found between genders in division II runners.



exercise addiction, running, athletes


Wallace, T. J. (2005). Running addiction among Division I and Division II college-aged male and female athletes (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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