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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2012 February;52(1):92-101

language: English

Disordered eating attitudes and body shame among athletes, exercisers and sedentary female college students

Jankauskiene R. 1, Pajaujiene S. 2

1 Department of Health and Physical Activity, Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education, Kaunas, Lithuania;
2 Department of Health and Physical Activity, Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education, Kaunas, Lithuania


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AIM:The aim of the present study was to examine the disordered eating attitudes and sociocultural body ideals internalization among university athletes (N.=98), exercisers (N.=125) and sedentary (N.=81) undergraduate female students.
METHODS:The mean age (SD) of the sample was 20.17 (2.00). The students completed Eating Attitude Test – 26, Body Areas Satisfaction subscale of the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire, Body Shame subscale from the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale, Rosenberg Self- Esteem Scale, Appearance subscale from the Motives for Physical Activity Measure – Revised, reported their physical activity and fluid manipulation – related behaviour.
RESULTS:We observed no significant differences in disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, self-esteem and fluid manipulation – related behaviour among athletes, exercisers and sedentary female students. Body shame predicted disordered eating in all groups of women. Students high in body shame reported higher levels of disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, appearance – related exercise motives, fluid manipulation – related behaviour and lower self-esteem, regardless of their physical activity level.
CONCLUSION:The results show that internalization of the sociocultural body standards provide a mechanism through which different physical activity levels are associated with negative eating and physical activity – related outcomes in college-aged women.

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r.jankauskiene@lkka.lt