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ANTONIO PALMA

Self-esteem, body image and B.M.I. in people attending fitness classes

  • Authors: Alesi, M.; Bianco, A.; Spina, S.; Raccuglia, M.; Palma, A.; Pepi, A.
  • Publication year: 2012
  • Type: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link: http://hdl.handle.net/10447/77158

Abstract

Over the last decade there have been several studies which support the role that physical exercise plays in the promotion of well-being and positive mental health. A crucial aspect in the well-being is the relationship between self-esteem and body-image. Anyway limited theoreticallybased longitudinal studies on body image and its relationship with selfesteem among adult men and women is documented (Grossbard, Lee, Neighbors, Larimer, 2009; Mellor, Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, McCabe, Ricciardelli, 2010). Different cultural standards for ideal body types have been identified: for females a thin figure represents attractiveness and for males, a more muscular build symbolizes power and success. Body mass index (MBI) has proven to be the most reliable biological correlate of body image and studies show an association between elevated BMI and greater body dissatisfaction (Milligan, Pritchard, 2006). Given these theoretical premises, the study aims to investigate the selfesteem and body-image of individuals practicing fitness as a function of gender and age. The study also examines the role of B.M.I. in the relationship between self-esteem and body-image. The sample consisted of 100 participants (50 females and 50 males), with an average chronological age of 28.59 years (range 18-63; SD= 10.2), subdivided into three groups of age: Group 1 (<20 years), Group 2 (20-30 years), Group 3 (> 30 years). At the beginning of the research subjects were given a Fitness Test aimed at evaluating parameters such as weight, tall, sit-up test, push-up test, squat-test…Then were administered the Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) and the Body Weight, Image and Self-Esteem Evaluation Questionnaire (Awad, 2004) to measure the subjects’ self-esteem and body image. Instruments were collectively administered during the regular fitness classes. In summary, results indicate significant differences between males and females both for Self-Esteem (F 1, 99 = 6.694; p < .05) and for Body-image (F 1, 99 = 11.708; p < .01). In particular, males show higher levels of Self-Esteem and Body-image than females. Moreover the results demonstrate an association between B.M.I., Body-Image and Self-Esteem. Additional research should extend the sample with subjects practicing differentiated kinds of sport activities and a control group composed by sedentary subjects.