Examination of a sociocultural model of excessive exercise among male and female adolescents
White, J. and Halliwell, E. (2010) Examination of a sociocultural model of excessive exercise among male and female adolescents. Body Image, 7 (3). pp. 227-233. ISSN 1740-1445
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2010.02.002
There is substantial evidence that sociocultural pressures and body image disturbances can lead to disordered eating, yet few studies have examined their impact on excessive exercise. The study adapted a sociocultural model for disordered eating to predict excessive exercise using data from boys and girls in early adolescence (N=421). Perceived sociocultural pressures to lose weight and build muscle, body image disturbance and appearance investment were associated with a compulsive need to exercise. Adolescents' investment in appearance and body image disturbance fully mediated the relationship between sociocultural pressures and a compulsive need for exercise. There was no support for the meditational model in predicting adolescents' frequency or duration of exercise. Results support the sociocultural model as an explanatory model for excessive exercise, but suggest appearance investment and body image disturbance are important mediators of sociocultural pressures.