Differences in Body Appreciation and Functionality Appreciation Outside of and Directly Following Sport Among Collegiate Student-Athletes

in The Sport Psychologist

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Zachary A. SoulliardDepartment of Psychology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA

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Hannah F. Fitterman-HarrisDepartment of Psychology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA

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Joanne E. PerryNovant Health, Orthopedic Service Line, Charlotte, NC, USA

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Lindsey M. PoeDepartment of Psychology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA

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Michael J. RossDepartment of Psychology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA

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The present study examined differences in body appreciation and functionality appreciation between student-athletes and nonathletes. Additionally, the present study assessed differences in these constructs among female and male athletes outside of their sport and directly following participation in their sport. Seventy-five student-athletes and 211 nonathletes from a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I university completed online measures, including the State-Based Body Appreciation Scale and Functionality Appreciation Scale. Student-athletes completed the same measures following a sport practice. Student-athletes reported higher levels of body appreciation and functionality appreciation compared to nonathletes. No differences in body appreciation were found among student-athletes outside of their sport compared to directly following participation in their sport; however, student-athletes reported higher levels of functionality appreciation after their sport practice. Implications for coaches and athletic staff are discussed, including placing a greater emphasis on body functionality rather than specific body ideals.

Soulliard (zachary.soulliard@yale.edu) is corresponding author.

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