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Title:Reducing physique anxiety in college females
Author(s):Bane, Susan Marie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McAuley, Edward
Department / Program:Kinesiology and Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology and Community Health
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Women's Studies
Education, Physical
Psychology, Clinical
Abstract:The present study adopted a social-cognitive framework in which the theories of self-presentation (Leary & Kowalski, 1990) and self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977) were integrated in an attempt to determine the unique and combined roles played by exercise and cognitive behavior modification in decreasing SPA in college females. College females were randomly assigned to either exercise-only (EO)(N = 22) or exercise plus a cognitive-behavioral intervention (CBI)(N = 21). Subjects engaged in aerobic exercise at least three times/week for 8 weeks. Subjects in both groups also met one additional time each week for one hour. During this time, subjects in the CBI group received educational information and techniques designed to enhance confidence in their bodies. Subjects in the EO group received basic fitness and nutrition information. Prior to, following the program and at an 8-week follow-up, subjects completed the Social Physique Anxiety Scale, Physical Attractiveness Efficacy Scale, and physiological testing. An additional group of sedentary college females served as control subjects (CON)(N = 19).
A MANOVA revealed a significant main effect for time, with reductions in SPA and anthropometrics and enhanced fitness, efficacy and body satisfaction ($p<.05$). Although the overall multivariate interaction effect was significant for perceptions of appearance, examination of simple effects indicated that the CBI group reported greater changes than the EO group while the control group remained constant. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed reductions in physique anxiety as a result of the program were mediated by changes in the psychosocial variables of physical attractiveness efficacy (B =.46) and body satisfaction ($B = -.30$) rather than actual changes in physical characteristics.
The findings of the study have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, the work highlights the mechanisms underlying reductions in SPA. Specifically, enhancing confidence in appearance versus actual changes in appearance appears to lead to reductions in SPA. Practically, it appears that while exercise alone is an effective strategy for reducing SPA in college females, exercise combined with a cognitive behavioral intervention is more effective.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Bane, Susan Marie
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624282
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624282

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