Differences in functional and aesthetic body image between sedentary girls and girls involved in sports and physical activity: Does sport type make a difference?
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Objectives: The aim of the current study was to explore the association between sports and physicalactivity participation and body image among Australian adolescent girls. Body image was defined to incorporate body values, behavioral-investment and satisfaction across both the aesthetic and functional dimensions of the body. Design: The study used a cross-sectional design and investigated body image differences using two different participation portfolios. The physical-activity portfolio investigated body image difference among sports participants, general physical-activity participants and non-physically active girls. The sport-type portfolio contrasted aesthetic only, non-aesthetic only, hybrid (aesthetic and non-aesthetic) participants, and non-participants. Method: Adolescent girls (N ¼ 1002) aged 13e18 (M ¼ 14.6, SD ¼ 1.08), from 34 high schools across Western Australia were surveyed on functional and aesthetic body image, body mass index (BMI), pubertal timing, age, and their involvement in sports and general physical activities. Results: Sports participants reported higher functional values, functional behavioral-investment and functional satisfaction than physically active and non-physically active girls. Although they reported higher functional behavioral-investment, girls who participated in general physical activity did not differ significantly from non-physically active girls on functional satisfaction. Body image was also found to differ significantly among girls participating in different sport-type portfolios. Conclusions: The results indicated that although girls in different sport types differ in their body image, any involvement in sporting activities was associated with more functional body image than those not involved in sports.
Psychology of Sport and Exercise
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Developmental Psychology and Ageing