How Healthy is a Desire to be Fit and Strong? Drives for Thinness, Leanness, and Muscularity in Women in Weight Training

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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Fitness training to attain the lean body ideal is becoming increasingly popular among women. However, it remains unclear how the drive for leanness (DL), as compared to the drives for thinness (DT) and muscularity (DM), relates to body image pathology and substance use in female weight-trainers. Participants (N = 168) completed a survey assessing DL, DT, DM, eating and body dysmorphic disorder pathology, and substance use. DT and DM were related to eating disorder and body dysmorphic disorder symptoms (all r ≥ .29; all ps < .01), while DL only to the former (r = .19, p < .05). Supplement use was associated with DL and DM (r = .17 and .55; both p < .01) and pharmaceutical use with DT and DM (r ≥ .21; both p < .01). Female weight-trainers should not be neglected in body image disorder prevention, with a particular focus on DT and DM.

Hartmann, Steenbergen, Vocks, and Waldorf are with the Institute of Psychology, Osnabrück University, Osnabrück, Germany. Büsch is with the Institute of Sport Science, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany.

Address author correspondence to Andrea S. Hartmann at andrea.hartmann@uos.de.
Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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