Predictors of Self-Objectification in New Female Fitness Center Members

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

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Ivanka PrichardFlinders University

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Marika TiggemannFlinders University

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This study aimed to identify predictors of self-objectification among exercising women. A brief questionnaire incorporating demographic questions and measures of self-objectification was completed by 133 new female fitness center members (aged 16 to 68 years) upon joining a fitness center and 12 months later. Results demonstrated that young women who remained fitness center members had greater self-objectification at 12 months than women who ceased their memberships. Furthermore, both initial age and reasons for exercise predicted subsequent increases in self-objectification. Specifically, being younger, as well as being more motivated by appearance-related reasons to exercise, predicted self-objectification at 12 months. These findings suggest that young women exercising within the fitness center environment may be at an increased risk of developing self-objectification, one of the predictors of negative body image and disordered eating.

Ivanka Prichard Flinders University Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, School of Medicine c/o Public Health GPO Box 2100 Adelaide, South Australia 5001 E-mail: ivanka.prichard@flinders.edu.au Phone: +61 8 72218471

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