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The Relationship Between the Drive for Muscularity and Muscle Dysmorphia in Male and Female Weight Trainers

Robert, Courtney A1; Munroe-Chandler, Krista J2; Gammage, Kimberley L3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - pp 1656-1662
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b3dc2f
Original Research

Robert, CA, Munroe-Chandler, KJ, and Gammage, KL. The relationship between the drive for muscularity and muscle dysmorphia in male and female weight trainers. J Strength Cond Res 23(6): 1656-1662, 2009-Muscle dysmorphia is a form of body dysmorphic disorder in which individuals have a pathological preoccupation with their muscularity and, more specifically, an extreme fear that their bodies are too small. Relatively few empirical studies have been completed on muscle dysmorphia, and even fewer studies on the relationship between the drive for muscularity and muscle dysmorphia in men and women. The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between the drive for muscularity and muscle dysmorphia in male (n = 55) and female (n = 59) recreational weight trainers. Results revealed that the behavior and diet subscales of the drive for muscularity significantly predicted muscle dysmorphia in males and females accounting for 69% and 46% of the total variance, respectively. Although the overall scores of muscle dysmorphia do not indicate clinical levels, these findings suggest that behaviors such as arranging one's schedule around his/her training regimen and dieting in order to gain muscle predict characteristics of muscle dysmorphia in men and women.

1Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, University of Windsor and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia; 2Department of Kinesiology, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada; and 3Department of Physical Education and Kinesiology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Address correspondence to Courtney Robert, crobert@vt.edu.

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association