The objectives of this study were to test the associations between physical self-discrepancies (actual:ideal and actual:ought) and physical activity behavior, and to examine whether motivational regulations mediate these associations using self-discrepancy (Higgins, 1987) and organismic integration (Deci & Ryan, 1985) theories as guiding frameworks. Young women (N = 205; M age = 18.87 years, SD = 1.83) completed self-report questionnaires. Main analyses involved path analysis using a polynomial regression approach, estimation of direct and indirect effects, and evaluation of response surface values. Agreement between actual and ideal (or ought) physical self-perceptions was related to physical activity both directly and indirectly as mediated by the motivational regulations (R 2 = .24–.30). Specifically, when actual and ideal self-perceptions scores were similar, physical activity levels increased as actual and ideal scores increased. Furthermore, physical activity levels were lower when the discrepancy was such that ideal or ought self were higher than actual self. These findings provide support for integrating self-discrepancy and organismic integration theories to advance research in this area.
Jennifer Brunet, Catherine Sabiston, Andree Castonguay, Leah Ferguson and Natalia Bessette
Eva Pila, Angela Stamiris, Andree Castonguay and Catherine M. Sabiston
These three studies sought to better understand experiences of body-related envy and to examine the association with motivation and exercise behavior in young adult males and females. In an interview study, participants (N = 11) discussed body-related envy within a framework of social comparison. In Study 2, a thematic content analysis was conducted on self-reported narratives of body-related envy experiences reported by 288 participants. Themes of body-related envy triggers, cognitions, and cognitive and behavioral outcomes were identified. Findings from Studies 1 and 2 highlighted the possible link between body-related envy and exercise motivation and behavior. Study 3 tested these associations with males and females (N = 595) who completed a self-report questionnaire. In the structural equation model, body-related envy was positively associated with external, introjected, and identified regulations, and identified regulation was positively associated with exercise behavior. Taken together, the importance of body-related envy in the experience of cognitive, affective, and behavioral outcomes related to sport and exercise contexts is highlighted.
Shauna Solomon-Krakus, Catherine M. Sabiston, Jennifer Brunet, Andree L. Castonguay and Mélanie Henderson
Purpose: This study examined the association between self-perceived actual and ideal body sizes and objectively assessed moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among adolescents, controlling for puberty, fat mass index, and sex. A secondary objective was to explore the association between objectively assessed fat mass index and MVPA. Methods: Participants were 438 early adolescents (M age = 11.61, SD = 0.92). Participants selected body sizes that represented their self-perceived actual and ideal bodies. Participants then wore an accelerometer for 1 week to assess MVPA. Polynomial regression analysis with response surface methods was used to explore MVPA in relation to the discrepancy and agreement (ie, no discrepancy) between self-perceived actual and ideal body sizes. Results: When self-perceived actual and ideal body sizes were in agreement and represented smaller and larger bodies, MVPA was low. Participants with similar self-perceived actual and ideal bodies in the middle of the body-size spectrum demonstrated the highest levels of MVPA. The direction and degree of the discrepancy between self-perceived actual and ideal bodies were not significantly associated with MVPA. Fat mass index was significantly and negatively associated with MVPA. Conclusions: These findings may inform physical activity promotion programs and provide methodological contributions to the study of how body image and MVPA are related.