Body image satisfaction was measured among college male athletes participating in track/cross-country, soccer, basketball, swimming, and lacrosse through the use of figure drawings varying in level of muscularity. All the athletes chose significantly different figure drawings to best represent their actual physique, ideal physique, and the physique they believed was most attractive to the opposite sex. For each sport, athletes’ actual physique was less muscular than both their ideal physique and the one they thought was attractive to the opposite sex. Soccer and lacrosse players chose an ideal physique larger than the one they thought was attractive to the opposite sex, while swimmers chose an ideal physique smaller than the one they thought was attractive to the opposite sex. Lacrosse players wanted to gain the most muscle. Those athletes who used muscle mass/weight-gain supplements spent more time per week in weight training and viewed their actual physique as larger than did athletes who did not use weight-gain supplements. The present results further reveal the desire of athletes to gain muscle, possibly to the extent of abusing weight-gain supplements and thus providing the foundation for faulty body image or dysfunctional eating.
Bryan Raudenbush is with the Dept. of Psychology, Wheeling Jesuit Univ., 316 Washington Ave., Wheeling, WV 26003; Brian Meyer is with the Dept. of Counseling, Appalachian State Univ., Boone, NC 28607.