This study examines eating attitudes, body satisfaction, reasons for exercise, and general psychological well-being in female nonathletes and Division III college athletes. A total of 115 nonathletes and 94 athletes completed measures of eating attitudes, body satisfaction, trait affect, reasons for exercise, and perceived self-competence. On the majority of measures, the scores of athletes revealed less eating disorder symptomatology and more healthy psychological functioning than the scores of nonathletes. These results indicate that female athletic involvement can be associated with healthy eating and psychological functioning. Future research should give consideration to which environments may foster healthy sports participation.
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- Author: Patricia Marten DiBartolo x
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Patricia Marten DiBartolo and Carey Shaffer
Patricia Marten DiBartolo, Linda Lin, Simone Montoya, Heather Neal, and Carey Shaffer
This study reports the psychometric development of a measure to assess individual differences in exercise motivations using a functionalist strategy (Snyder & Cantor, 1997). Factor analyses revealed two subscales for the newly developed Function of Exercise Scale (FES): Weight and Appearance (WA), and Health and Enjoyment (HE). FES-HE scores correlated with better psychological well-being and predicted prospectively monitored as well as concurrently and longitudinally assessed exercise behavior. FES-HE scores also correlated with lower pulse, systolic blood pressure, and salivary cortisol readings, indicating its association with better physical health. In contrast, FES-WA scores correlated with greater depressive and eating disorder symptoms, as well as lower self-esteem, and predicted the later emergence of eating disorder, but not depressive, symptoms. FES-WA scores failed to show a relationship with measures of physical well-being, including exercise engagement and vital sign data. Overall, the FES appears to hold promise as a succinct and psychometrically sound heuristic for meaningfully relating exercise motivations to important indices of both physical and psychological well-being.