Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Lisa A. Barella


The female athlete triad is a condition that is composed of an interaction of three separate disorders: low energy intake due to the presence of an eating disorder or disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, such as, oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. Separately, each disorder can affect performance; however, when the disorders are combined, the consequences are magnified. The female triad has a profound effect on an athlete's performance both physiologically and psychologically. The female athlete triad can affect any female athlete; however, it is more prevalent among the athletes that specialize in aesthetic sports or sports that emphasize leanness, for example, ballet, gymnastics, wrestling, and cross country. Athletes who suffer from the triad generally have low self esteem and have issues about their bodies, such as, constantly pointing out flaws and not liking how their body looks. The female athlete triad is a very serious condition that leads to many health consequences. These health consequences include heart disease, kidney disease, and stress fractures. An athlete's performance is accredited to psychological and physiological well being and therefore, the triad has consequences on performance. Due to the detrimental effect the triad has on performance, it is crucial that the condition is detected early and that recovering and counseling are emphasized in the healing process.