The Effect of Exercise on Body Satisfaction and Self-Esteem as a Function of Gender and Age

Marika Tiggemann, Samantha Williamson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    127 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The study investigated the relationship between amount of exercise and psychological well-being in a broadly based sample. A questionnaire assessing amount of exercise, reasons for exercise, body satisfaction, and self-esteem was completed by 252 participants between the ages of 16 and 60 years. Almost all participants (>95%) were White. Participants were divided into four groups on the basis of gender and age, resulting in 70 young women, 48 young men, 73 mature women, and 61 mature men. Significant negative relationships between amount of exercise and body satisfaction and self-esteem were found for young women, and positive relationships for the remainder of the sample. Women exercised more for reasons of weight control, tone, and mood enhancement than men. For the whole sample, the first two of these reasons were associated with lower body satisfaction, while exercising for health and fitness reasons was associated with increased self-esteem. It was concluded that reasons for exercising did not provide an adequate explanation for the obtained difference in correlations across gender and age.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)119-127
    Number of pages9
    JournalSex Roles
    Volume43
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

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