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Sally Crawford and Robert C. Eklund

Hart, Leary, and Rejeski (1989) hypothesized that social physique anxiety (SPA), self-presentational anxiety associated with the physique, may deter some people from participating in fitness programs. This contention was explored in the present investigation. Data were collected from 104 undergraduate females regarding SPA, weight satisfaction, body satisfaction, and reasons for exercise. Following each of two video presentations of aerobics classes as stimulus materials, attitudes toward the favorability of the exercise settings were assessed. One class wore attire emphasizing the physique; the other appeared in shorts and T-shirts, deemphasizing the physique. Multiple regression analyses revealed SPA was associated with favorability of attitudes toward both exercise settings. SPA was negatively associated with favorability of the setting emphasizing the physique and was positively related to favorability of the setting de-emphasizing the physique. The results indicate that self-presentational, theoretical perspectives may be useful in understanding exercise behavior patterns.

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Robert C. Eklund and Sally Crawford

The purpose of this investigation was to replicate and extend Crawford and Eklund's (1994) investigation of social physique anxiety (SPA) and exercise. Women (N = 94) enrolled in physical education activity or major classes participated in the investigation. Data were collected on SPA, weight satisfaction, percent body fat, reasons for exercise, exercise behaviors and preferences, and attitudes toward two aerobic class video presentations featuring a manipulation of physique salience. Consistent with the previous investigation, self-presentational reasons for exercise (body tone, weight control, and physical attractiveness) were positively associated with SPA in both simple correlations and hierarchical analyses controlling for body composition. In contrast to previous findings, SPA was not associated with favorability of attitudes toward either of the video presentations. The inability to fully replicate Crawford and Eklund's (1993) findings raised interesting questions with regard to variables that may moderate or mediate self-presentational anxiety in exercise settings.