Exercise Partner Preferences, Social Physique Anxiety, and Social Discomfort in Exercise Settings among Women University Wellness Center Patrons

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 Medical University of South Carolina
  • | 2 Springfield College
  • | 3 The Norwegian University for Sport and Physical Education
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In a study examining the relationships between two social psychological factors and exercise partner preferences, 97 women (mean age 32.42; SD = 9.85 years) provided demographic information, indicated their exercise partner preference, and completed measures of social physique anxiety (SPA) and perceived social discomfort (PSD) in exercise settings. Chi-square analyses on PSD and exercise partner preferences revealed significant effects, X2 (4) = 34.53, p < .001. Logistic regression revealed an effect for the SPA X PSD interaction, LR = 0.97, p < .01. When PSD was low, SPA had little impact on the odds of selecting a partner. When PSD and SPA were high, there were far lower odds of selecting an exercise partner. Overall, based upon the results, the number of exercise partners may be an important issue for women and women with high SPA may use an exercise partner to help moderate their anxiety, thereby increasing the palatability of the exercise setting.