Sarah Parnell

Date of Award


Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

Kinesiology BS


Human Performance and Recreation; Kinesiology

First Advisor

Jon Stavres, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Human Performance and Recreation; Kinesiology


iv ABSTRACT The Female Athlete Triad is the joint-presentation of three intertwined conditions (i.e., low energy availability (LEA), low bone mineral density (BMD), and menstrual dysfunction) that range in severity across affected individuals and have been known to affect the mental, emotional, and physical health of female athletes in a number of sports, especially those that are leanness-orientated and feature a high prevalence of disordered eating. The purpose of this study is to assess the potential relationship between increasing amounts of training volume and individual Triad risk factors in women’s collegiate track and field. Online Qualtrics surveys were administered to NCAA D1 women’s track and field programs throughout the spring and summer seasons of competition and conditioning, respectively. The six sections of the survey included questions regarding demographic information, sport information, collegiate injury history, Triad risk, sleep quality, perceived stress, and self-perceived depressive symptoms. 34 female athletes between the ages of 18 and 29 years were analyzed via Pearson Chi-Square tests. When separated into high and low percentile training groups for competition total training volume hours, it was found that significant differences existed for “history of collegiate injury” (p=0.022), “desire to lose weight for ‘sporting image’” (p=0.042), and “suffer from eating disorder” (p=0.017). “Low BMD or osteoporosis diagnosis” (p=0.054) and “ferritin supplement usage” (p=0.051) were found to be approaching significance between the groups as well. Although some Triad risk factors were found to be increased in the higher training volume group, larger population pools and additional research is required to draw definite conclusions regarding the potential relationship between increases in training volume and elevated risks of developing the Triad in women’s track and field athletes.