Body image in men: the impact of drive for muscularity and drive for thinness on depression, social physique anxiety, self-esteem, and behavioural factors in male health and fitness trainees

Gruchy, Alyssa (2018) Body image in men: the impact of drive for muscularity and drive for thinness on depression, social physique anxiety, self-esteem, and behavioural factors in male health and fitness trainees. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Recently, there has been a call for enhanced research in the field of male body image. The term “drive for muscularity” (DM) was created to capture the desire for a more muscular body type. This construct has been described as occurring on a continuum with “drive for thinness” (DT). Though many men struggle with these body image concerns, there are certain subgroups that are at a higher risk for DM and DT. Health and fitness trainees have endorsed greater body image and muscularity-related concerns than others. The current study had several objectives. The first was to determine whether DM and DT were higher in health and fitness trainees than in other males. The second was to examine changes in DM or DT as a factor of age or progression through the program. The third was to explore psychosocial variables (depression, social physique anxiety, and selfesteem), sexual orientation, and body composition measures (BMI and waist circumference) and their relationships with DM and DT. The fourth was to examine whether exercise behaviours (frequency, duration, and type of exercise) or supplement use was related to DM or DT. Finally, the fifth was to determine whether motivations for exercise played a role in the level of DM and DT endorsed. Seventy male health and fitness trainees participated in this study. Correlations, regressions, and one-way ANOVAs were calculated to examine relationships between variables. Results indicated that male health and fitness trainees were higher in DM than non-health and fitness trainees. No psychosocial variables correlated with DM, but DT was significantly correlated with social physique anxiety and body composition measures (BMI and waist circumference). Non-heterosexual orientation was endorsed at an unusually low rate. DM, but not DT, differed significantly based on participant frequency, duration, and type of exercise, and type of supplement use. Other notable findings included participant endorsement of creatine usage, and the likelihood of using creatine to predict considering anabolic steroid use. These results contribute to the growing field of male body image literature. Directions for future research and clinical implications for practice with males with body image concerns are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 13224
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 124-149).
Keywords: Body Image, Men, Males, Drive for Muscularity, Drive for Thinness, Depression, Social Physique Anxiety, Self-Esteem, Exercise Behaviour, Supplement Use, Body Composition, Exercise Motivations, Health and Fitness Trainees
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: April 2018
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Body image in men; Self-esteem in men; Personal trainers
Medical Subject Heading: Body Image; Self Concept; Men

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