Predictors of Social Physique Anxiety in Elite Female Youth Athletes

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal

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Jeffrey J. MartinDivision of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 266 Matthaei Building Wayne State University Detroit MI 48402

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Hermann J. EngelsDivision of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 266 Matthaei Building Wayne State University Detroit MI 48402

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John C. WirthDivision of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 266 Matthaei Building Wayne State University Detroit MI 48402

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Kari L. SmithDivision of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 266 Matthaei Building Wayne State University Detroit MI 48402

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The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of social physique anxiety (SPA). SPA, self-esteem, body-esteem, public body consciousness (PBC) and percent body fat (%BF) were assessed with elite female youth athletes (̲N=68) competing in either figure skating, soccer or gymnastics. Stepwise multiple regression analyses, controlling for BF%, accounted for 59% of the variance in SPA. Self-esteem entered first, after BF%, followed by body-esteem and PBC. The psychological variables accounted for 57% of the variance with self-esteem contributing the most (R square change = 45%). Contrary to previous research, BF% did not significantly contribute to SPA. Additionally, a MANOVA and follow-up ANOVA and Scheffe’s tests revealed significant sport differences among SPA, self-esteem, and body-esteem.

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