Primary and Secondary Exercise Dependence in a Community-Based Sample of Road Race Runners

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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The purpose of our study was to examine exercise dependence (EXD) in a large community-based sample of runners. The secondary purpose of this study was to examine differences in EXD symptoms between primary and secondary EXD. Our sample included 2660 runners recruited from a local road race (M age = 38.78 years, SD = 10.80; 66.39% women; 91.62% Caucasian) who completed all study measures online within 3 weeks of the race. In this study, EXD prevalence was lower than most previously reported rates (gamma = .248, p < .001) and individuals in the at-risk for EXD category participated in longer distance races, F(8,1) = 14.13, p = .01, partial eta squared = .05. Group differences were found for gender, F(1,1921) 8.08, p = .01, partial eta squared = .004, and primary or secondary group status, F(1,1921) 159.53, p = .01, partial eta squared = .077. Implications of primary and secondary EXD differences and future research are discussed.

Brian Cook is with the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, ND, and with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Fargo, ND. Trisha M. Karr is with Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona, Minnesota. Christie Zunker is with ICF International, Atlanta, GA. James E. Mitchell is with the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, and with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Fargo, ND. Ron Thompson is in private practice at Bloomington, Indiana. Roberta Sherman is in private practice at Bloomington, Indiana. Ross D. Crosby is with the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, and with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Fargo, ND. Li Cao is with the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, ND. Ann Erickson is with the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, ND. Stephen A. Wonderlich is with the Neuropsychiatric Research Institute, Fargo, and with the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Fargo, ND.