Alyson A. Hamilton
Saint Anselm College, 2001

 

 Body Image Satisfaction Between Athletes and Nonathletes

Acknowledgements Abstract Background Information
Method Results Discussion
Appendices
References
Relevant Links

Acknowledgements

     There were several people who supported me in such a way that I was able to complete this thesis in a sane manner. First, and most importantly, I would like to thank my family for allowing me to be where I am today. Specifically, I would like to thank my sister, Kara, for taking the many hours to read and revise all the different drafts of this thesis. I could not have done it without all of your continued support and sense of humor! Thank you!
      Also, I would like to thank Professor Troisi and, especially Professor Ossoff, for their continued support and tolerance during the past ten months. Your input and guidance have allowed me to complete such a significant accomplishment. 
      Thank you to Coach Petell, Coach Harring, Coach Vermette and Coach Dickson for being so cooperative and allowing your players to participate in this thesis. To the members of the softball, baseball, and women's and men's basketball teams, thank you for being so willing to participate! 
      Finally, I would like to thank my roommates, Kristy, Sonia, and Bethany, for their words of encouragement and help along the way! This would not have been a sane process without you guys!
 
 

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Abstract

 
     All people develop their own body image, which then directs their behavior, guides their activities, and is strongly related to their ego identity. Research suggests the degree to which people are satisfied with their bodies may have profound implications for their self-perceptions and behaviors. For example, a positive body image contributes to an individualís psychological well-being whereas as a negative body image may lead to lower self-esteem, higher social anxiety and intense self-consciousness. Exercise and fitness, including athletics, have increasingly become significant components of the American society. Whether individuals participate in athletics as a means of becoming healthy or as a method of conforming to the societal ideal body is unknown. However, athletes and nonathletes both feel the pressure to attain the ideal body that is omnipresent in our society. The present study will investigate body image satisfaction between athletes and nonathletes.
    In the present study, 50 athletes (25 females and 25 males) comprising of the experimental group, and the control group consisting of 37 nonathletes (20 females and 17 males) completed the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale and the Body Esteem Scale (BES) to see if there was a difference in body image satisfaction between athletes and nonathletes. It was hypothesized that athletesí scores on the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale would indicate that perceived and ideal body images are much closer than those of nonathletes. It was predicted that the scores on the BES would suggest that athletes have more positive feelings regarding their bodies and body functions than nonathletes.
     Through 2x2 analyses of variance and Independent Samples t-tests, results indicated significance for the variable of gender on the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale. Although significance was not obtained for the variable of athlete/nonathlete, the means were moving in the predicted direction. Results also indicated significance on the BES subscales of Physical Condition for women, and Upper Body Strength and Physical Condition for men. The significance found on the different dimensions of the BES corresponds with the hypothesis, suggesting that athletes are more satisfied with these body parts or functions than the nonathletes. The results of the present study also suggest that males are more satisfied with their bodies than females.  Methodological concerns as well as suggestions for future research also are discussed.
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Background Information

     The degree to which people are satisfied with their bodies may have profound implications for their self-perceptions and behaviors. Statistics indicate that more people exercise on a regular basis now than ever before (Cash, Novy & Grant, 1994), and the popularity of fitness centers, workout videos and personal exercise equipment may be characteristic of a social trend toward an increasing dedication to health and fitness. However, it is not clear whether these circumstances are in response to the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle or an exaggerated and narcissistic preoccupation with physical appearance and body image (Davis, Claridge & Brewer, 1996). 
 The pressure on an athlete to meet weight restrictions or to conform to a certain body type may come from a number of different sources: society, peers, coaches and trainers, as well as from the criteria used to judge different sports (Beals & Manor, 1994). In addition to "looking good," athletesí bodies also have to be able to perform well. Because the potential either to succeed or fail during a competitive athletic performance has been related to body image, a negative body image may adversely affect an athleteís performance (Davis, 1992). The aim in the present study is to investigate whether there is an overall difference in body image perception between athletes and nonathletes. It is predicted that athletes will be more satisfied with their bodies, as the results of the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale will show, and that athletes will score higher than the nonathletes on the dimensions of the Body Esteem Scale (BES).

  Body Image
    Of primary importance in a study such as this is the definition of "body image."  As suggested by Parks & Read (1997), body image is a complex phenomenon that includes physiological, psychological and sociological components. Body image is a self-perception all people develop that directs behavior, guides activities and is strongly related to ego identity (Wiggins & Moode, 2000). Each person develops an opinion of his/her image in a different way. Understanding how the image is formed is necessary to understand how and why people engage in specific behaviors, be they productive or counterproductive. A positive body image is essential to an individualís psychological well-being as a negative body image may lead to lower self-esteem, higher social anxiety and intense self-consciousness (Cash, 1994).
     Botta (1999) proposed that three components constitute body image. First, the perception component is how a person visualizes the size and shape of his/her body. Second, the attitudinal component is how a person thinks about his/her body, both cognitively and affectivity, and how committed he/she is to a "thin ideal." Third, the behavioral component is the behavior a person engages in, such as restrained eating; bingeing and purging; excessive exercise; and/or dieting to maintain the perceived ideal image (Botta, 1999). 
     Slade (1988) defined body image as the picture in our minds of the size, shape and form of our bodies, as well as our feelings concerning these characteristics and our body parts. He (1994) proposed seven factors that influence the development and manifestation of body image. Each of the seven now will be discussed briefly.
     The first is history of sensory input to body exposure. Throughout his/her life span, an individual receives sensory input of a visual, tactile and kinesthetic nature on the form, size, shape and appearance of his/her body. This input is not fixed but varies over time, and the individual stores this data and uses it to shape the general mental representations of the body (Slade, 1994).
     Second, an individualís history of weight change/fluctuation influences body image. Anorectics and the obese appear to have the most variable body image. These people, who are most likely to have experienced major changes in weight, are viewed as having a more defined view of body image (Slade, 1994). Research by Davis and Fox (1993) suggests that women who are highly weight-preoccupied (e.g., obese and anorectics) also report a greater degree of body focus than women who are not weight-preoccupied. In addition, weight-preoccupied women tend to report more negative attitudes concerning body shape and body satisfaction.
     Third, cultural and social norms also affect body image. Concerns about body image  traditionally have been thought to be a female preoccupation. Cultural, sexual and social differences in the prevalence of eating disorders in women have been well-established (McCarthy, 1990). In addition, evidence shows that women with eating disorders are more likely to be influenced by images of thin body types portrayed in the media (Slade, 1994). However, societal and cultural trends suggest that body image concerns also may affect males. The adolescent male is vulnerable to the pressure to attain the "ideal" male body. This ideal includes a masculine physique (V-shaped), height and muscularity, all combined into a mesomorphic build (Koff, Rierdan & Stubbs, 1990). 
     Related to this issue of cultural influences, some researchers have shown that the sociocultural pressure to be thin is the strongest influence on body image (Thompson, 1990). Nassarís (1988) study concluded the rate of eating disorders is lower in non-Western cultures, where being thin is not particularly valued. This Western value on a smaller body shape may serve to sharpen individual attitudes toward ideal body size and shape.
     The fourth factor involves individual attitudes about weight and shape, which influence the perceived ideal body image. Studies in the United States (Whitaker, Davies, Shaffer, Johnson, Abrams, Walsh & Kalikow, 1989) have shown that between 60% and 70% of 17-year-old females admit to dieting during the previous year, compared to only 20% of same-aged males. In addition, Whitaker et al. (1989) found that 84% of the 17-year-old girls desired to lose weight compared to only 40% of boys of the same age. This research suggests that girls in Western societies are much more concerned with conforming to the "ideal body size" than boys.
     Fifth, cognitive and affective variables, such as caloric intake, also have been found to influence body size judgments (Thompson, Coovert, Pasman & Robb, 1993). Experimental procedures have compared the body image estimates of those with eating disorders and those without with two main instructional conditions: "cognitive" (make your judgments according to how you THINK you look) and "affective" (make your judgments according to how you FEEL you look). In these studies, there is a remarkable consistency in the results. In all the studies, participants with eating disorders exhibited a significantly greater overestimation of body size in response to the "cognitive" instructions when compared to the "affective" instructions (Proctor & Morely, 1986; Franzen, Florin, Schneider & Meier, 1988; Robinson, Brodie, Dewey & Slade, 1994).
     Slade (1994) also suggested individual psychopathology as a sixth issue influencing body image. In addition, psychopathology almost certainly influenced by many of the other variables outlined above, for example, cultural and social norms, as well as individual attitudes to weight and shape.
     Lastly, also it is important not to dismiss the seventh factor, the possible effect biological factors have on influencing personal body image. As reported by Slade (1994), a significant correlation exits between basal metabolic rate and body image disturbance (BID). Slade concluded that bulimia leads to a lower metabolic rate, which is experienced as "sluggishness." He also found that BID contributes to feelings of "fatness" (Slade, 1994). In order for the scientific world to better understand why people try to alter their bodies, more research must be done on biological factors that influence personal body image. 
     Athletes are not immune to feeling the effects of Sladeís (1994) seven factors. These factors make their influence known in everything from feedback and instructions from coaches and trainers (sensory input), to any weight changes in the off-season (weight fluctuation), to interacting with the everyday world (cultural and social norms, and individual attitudes) and what type of environment the athlete was raised is (biological supports). Also coming into play is how an athlete thinks about his/her environment and body (psychopathology), which can lead to changes in caloric intake (cognitive and effective variables).
     These seven factors that influence body image development are useful in understanding how males and females differ in their self-perceptions of their bodies. In a study conducted by Hoffman & Brownell (1997), data suggest that weight may be more important in male body dissatisfaction, while shape may play a larger role in female body dissatisfaction. As mentioned in Koff et al. (1990), females tend to view their bodies as a means of attracting others, while males tend to perceive their bodies primarily as a means of effectively operating in the external environment. With such diverse assumptions, conscious and unconscious, about how the body functions, it is expected that men and women have different body images. Research suggests that men and women differ in two key aspects of body image satisfaction: 1. the factors that create body image satisfaction and 2. the dimensions of body image dissatisfaction (Silberstein, Striegal-Moore, Timko & Rodin, 1988). The present study will examine whether engaging in athletics is a significant factor in the development of positive or negative body-image satisfaction.
     One of the tools researchers have used to identify and measure body image satisfaction is the Body Esteem Scale (BES) (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). Franzoi and Shields (1984) showed that when people evaluate their own bodies, this evaluation is not done merely on the basis of global assessment (e.g., "I like or dislike my body,") but rather people evaluate their bodies in terms of distinct dimensions. The BES is constructed on the basis of factor analysis identifying three distinct dimensions or subscales for both men and women. 
     Addressing women first, body esteem appears to have three primary components. The first deals with the bodyís aspects or functions that seem to be associated with physical attractiveness. This is known as the Sexual Attractiveness Subscale (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). The body parts that are dependent on this factor are those that involve the appearance/size of the body and generally cannot be changed through exercise, only through the use of cosmetics. This factor suggests that a womanís sense of her attractiveness includes the evaluation of her own sexuality (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). Koff et al. (1990) suggest that the more a female believes that she can use her body as a means of attracting others, the more she will value or be satisfied with her body. For a female to anticipate or experience success in attracting others, she has to perceive her body as approximating the cultural standards of attractiveness. As girls reach puberty, however, their bodies physically begin to change from the lean body image that is currently the social ideal. This sets the stage for females to become less satisfied with their bodies as they mature and begin to deviate from the social norm. This may be one reason why a female decides to participate in athletics or exercise. Anorectics may use activity, such as food deprivation, as a conscious method of weight loss in an effort to obtain the lean body image that many desire (Davis, Fox, Cowles, Hastings & Schwass, 1990). Davis et al., (1990) go further and suggest that the pursuit of physical fitness by those who promote exercise propaganda, meaning that very thin is very healthy, have created a group of women who are of normal weight but who have an exaggerated concern with weight control. The same can be said of athletes ? these people also are exposed to the same messages, which may be augmented by the pressure from their coaches, trainers and peers to obtain a certain weight level. These constant messages may be having an effect on body image satisfaction or dissatisfaction, as present study aims to identify.
     The second factor, the Weight Concern Subscale, also pertains to physical appearance. This factor includes the body parts that can be physically altered through exercise or controlled food intake. The body parts that constitute this factor are the parts that are most objectified by men in our culture as defining female sexuality (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). The Weight Concern Subscale had the lowest correlation with self-esteem, possibly reflecting the dissatisfaction many women express about their own weight, regardless of other self-satisfactions (Franzoi & Shields, 1984).
     The third component of female body esteem, the Physical Condition Subscale, is composed of items that pertain to stamina, strength and agility. These characteristics typically are not subject to public scrutiny unless the situation is one where such qualities are demonstrated and assessed. An athletic contest is a good example of such a situation (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). It is arguable that all athletes and coaches recognize the important relationship between weight and optimal performance. In all sports, a weight that is greater than the healthy maximum limits speed, endurance and agility, as well as contributes to increases in fatigue (Smith, 1980). The present study will address issues relating to this component of body image.
     Similar to women, menís view of body esteem also appears to have three primary factors. The first, the Physical Attractiveness Subscale, relates to the facial features and aspects of the physique (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). These characteristics largely determine whether a man is judged as handsome or "good looking." It also is important to mention that in contrast to the Female Sexual Attractiveness Subscale, all items on the male subscale are body parts and not body functions. This component includes sex organs, but not sex activities or sex drive, suggesting that sexuality is less central to young menís feelings of attractiveness than to young womenís (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). Research has examined the relationship between dissatisfaction and body size (Silberstein et al., 1988), concluding that the term "underweight" appears to have a different meaning for the two sexes. As cited in Silberstein et al. (1988), underweight men seem unhappy with their body weight, whereas underweight women appear satisfied. 
     A manís self-assessment of virility is the second aspect of body esteem in men, the Upper Body Strength Subscale. This constitutes upper body parts and body functions that can be changed through exercise (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). The male body parts that fall into this category include those that are desired to be bigger and more broad, not trim. These body parts and functions are associated with our cultureís view of "manly vigor," and this factor may reflect menís self-assessment of virility (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). Unlike the changes a female experiences during puberty, the valued attributes of the masculine physique (tallness and muscularity) become more desirable as the male experiences puberty. Therefore, it is suggested that men become more satisfied with their body appearance as their bodies mature (Koff et al., 1990).
     The final factor that shapes male body esteem is the Physical Condition Subscale. This resembles the womenís scale of the same name in that it reflects an individualís feelings about his/her stamina, strength and agility. However, there are differences between the gendersí scales. For example, waists, appetites and the appearance of stomachs, which are on the Weight Concern Subscale for women, appear on the Physical Condition Subscale for men (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). It appears that men associate these body parts and functions not with how they and others assess them as static objects, but with how they help or hinder physical activity (Franzoi & Shields, 1984). One aspect of the present study will examine if athletes have a higher score on the Physical Condition Subscale because the body parts and functions of this factor relate to helping or hindering physical activity, in this case, participating in a sport.
     In the past researchers tried to measure this style of thinking using the Body Size Drawing (BSD), which was developed by Fallon & Rozin (1985) and consists of nine drawings of a female figure (used for female subjects) or a male figure (for male subjects). Each drawing gradually increases in body size from extremely thin to very obese. In the test developed by Fallon and Rozin (1985), subjects are asked to select the number of the drawing that best represents their current appearance (perceived figure) and to indicate the number of the drawing that represents what they ideally want to look like (ideal figure). Body dissatisfaction that results from a discrepancy between perceived and ideal body image is often emphasized, and even normalized, by cultural standards of physical attractiveness (Davis, Fox, Brewer & Ratusny, 1996). For example, the cultural ideal for women in industrialized societies equates thinness with success and beauty, but this standard conflicts with factors (such as improvements in nutrition and health care) that have made the average female today heavier than she was just 25 years ago (Furnham, Titman & Sleeman, 1994). When perceived/ideal discrepancies exist for bodily aspects that are perceived as changeable (e.g., weight), dissatisfaction often provokes efforts to close the perceived-ideal gap (Silberstein et al., 1988). 
     However, there have been many methodological concerns of using tests such as this to assess body image. In applied research, most constructs of interest are continuous while the actual number of options available on response scales is often discrete. In assessing body image using silhouette drawings, body size is a continuous variable measured by asking subjects to select one of a number of drawings (Gardner, Friedman & Jackson, 1998). The first major problem with silhouette measures is called "scale coarseness" (Gardner et al., 1998; Gardner, Stark, Jackson & Friedman, 1999). This is a result of the Likert-type rating scales that force subjects to select an answer from the possibilities. Additionally, on typical silhouette scales, the silhouettes are presented on a single sheet of paper, with the figures arranged in ascending size from right to left. Participants typically are instructed to mark the silhouette they think represents their perceived size and then their ideal size. This technique poses a problem because participants have little difficulty remembering which of the small number of figures they previously marked, producing false high test-retest reliability, and possibly influencing the selection of the ideal body image figure. Therefore, alternative methods and further research are necessary. The present study will use figural drawing on independent note cards in an effort to reduce confounding variables.

Athletes 
    Research involving sport team and exercise participants has found that participation in sports contributes to psychological well-being (Cash, Winstead & Janda, 1986) and also provides individuals with a more realistic sense of body image (Rossi & Zoccolotti, 1979). 
    The desire to achieve the perceived ideal body image may persuade some adolescents to participate in athletics in general. However, there are situations where the individualís body type may provide the motive for the selection of a particular sport (e.g., mesomorphs may tend to select football) (Parks & Read, 1997). Regardless of whether a sport is selected as a result of a natural body type or as a way to achieve a desired body type, there are cases where the "ideal" and the "actual" body types will not or cannot coincide. For example, it may be more difficult for an individual with a more mesomorphic build, such as a football player, to participate in gymnastics. It is difficult for an individual in that situation to have an identical "actual" and "ideal" body image. When conflict arises, athletes and nonathletes may go to extremes to resolve that conflict. Some individuals may use anabolic steroids or nutritional supplements to help themselves bulk up or become bigger, which is ideal for males (Beltz & Doering, 1993). On the other extreme, individuals who perceive themselves too big may employ weight-loss techniques to help them attempt to attain their ideal body image. In fact, in the United States, 33%-40% of adult women are trying to lose weight, and dieting is the most commonly used weight loss strategy (Lindeman, 1998). In addition, conservative estimates suggest that 1 out of 100 females is anorexic and 3 out of 100 are bulimic (American Psychiatric Assocation, 1994). A negative body image may be related to health problems and eating disorders; therefore, it is a concern that a negative body image may adversely affect an athleteís performance (Wiggins & Moode, 2000). 
     In a study conducted by Parks & Read (1997), male runners and male football players were asked to give some of the reasons why they exercise. Among the reasons given were weight control, fitness, mood, health, attractiveness, tone and enjoyment. The football players tended to rate fitness, mood, health and attractiveness as more important reasons for exercise than the runners.
     In this same study, 80% of the football players desired an increase in body weight, 15% wanted to lose weight and 5% were satisfied with their current weight. On the contrary, 37% of the cross country runners were satisfied with their current weight, whereas 21% desired to gain weight and 20% wanted to lose weight (Parks & Read, 1997). This suggests that the mesopmorphic male athlete is continually looking to become "bigger." Likewise, 21% of the male cross country runners were looking to gain weight. This is important  because it suggests that many male athletes are looking to become more mesomorphic and gain weight to obtain the culturally desired figure. This is of significance to the present study as Franzoiís BES will measure the male athletes and nonathletes scores using the Physical Attractiveness, Upper Body Strength, and Physical Condition subscales. These scores will identify how satisfied the athletes and nonathletes are with their bodies. Also, the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale will indicate if the male athletes and nonathletes desire a body build larger than the build they perceive themselves as having.
     Although a large number of football players desired a weight gain in Parks and Read's 1997 study, they still reported more positive responses for body satisfaction, as well as more positive attitudes and behaviors toward eating and weight control than the cross country runners (Parks & Read, 1997). The football players averaged a weight 37 pounds greater than the cross country runners, possibly suggesting football players have a greater mesomorphic build, which also is perceived as the male ideal body type (Parks & Read, 1997). Although cross country running requires a leaner build, the cultural belief that males should have a muscular body places the runner in conflict. It has been suggested that education is needed to help runners accept and value their body types as well as to avoid eating disorders as a response to body satisfaction (Parks & Read, 1997). Although the present study focuses not on cross country runners or football players specifically, understanding that conflict does arise within any individual when the perceived and ideal body image differs is important. The results of this study will indicate the presence of any difference between the perceived and ideal body type between athletes (defined in this study as individuals who currently participate in a collegiate sport) and nonathletes (defined in this study as individuals who have never participated in a sport or have not participated in a sport since sophomore year in high school). Within individuals, the greater discrepancy between the perceived and ideal body type may be predictive of future behaviors of an individual.
     Female athletes also are not immune from such feelings of conflict. The well-established performance advantages of being thin and the fact that extreme slenderness currently depicts our cultural ideal of female sexual attractiveness are likely to create a stronger body image dissatisfaction and equally strong incentives to reduce body fat to very low levels among female athletes (Davis, 1992). Although good diet and exercise lead to an improvement in cardiovascular health, evidence suggests that, particularly with women, exercise and sport are used for weight control and enhanced physical attractiveness rather than for health benefits (Garner, Olmstead, Polivy & Garfinkel, 1984). Research has shown that a female athleteís body image and self-perception affects her everyday choices. For example, body image and self-perception all have been shown to influence the choices a female athlete makes regarding diet, health and exercise (Wiggins & Moode, 2000). Female athletes participating in a variety of sports (although gymnasts and figure skaters receive the most publicity) are aware of what they perceive to be the advantages to their performance if they reduce their body weight (Rosen, McKeag, Hough & Curley, 1986). In reality, athletes in intensive training may require up to five times more than the normal daily caloric consumption, depending on the sport and the degree of exertion. However, many athletes do not consume the healthy caloric intake in their quest to remain thin (Davis & Cowles, 1989).
     In contrast to the "thin is better" heuristic, a more recent study (Lenart, Goldberg, Bailey, Dallal & Koff, 1995) found that female athletes at the university level increasingly prefer a body shape that is more muscular or mesomorphic combined with the ectomorphic physiques traditionally favored. While the desire for smaller hips and thighs remains strong, there is an increased interest in broader shoulders and more muscular arms, all items measured on the BES. This increasing societal trend in a body shape that is more mesomorphic may be more difficult for nonathletes to obtain and therefore may lead to conflict between the perceived and ideal image. 
     The increased preference for a more athletic ideal by both athletes and nonathletes may lead to the conclusion that much of the way women view their bodies is set largely by the sociocultural norms of society, and not by personal patterns of activity (Lenart et al., 1995). This will be measured in the present study on the Sexual Attractiveness and Weight Concern Subscales. Scores on the BES and Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale will indicate how female athletes and nonathletes feel about different aspects of their body, and perhaps may lead to the conclusion that all females are striving for the same ideal body image, one that is defined by society.
     Understanding the literature regarding athletes and nonathletes as well as their perceptions of body image is vital to this study. Research suggests that those who engage in sports, physical exercise or athletic competition do achieve altered perceptions of body esteem. After evaluating the literature, it is hypothesized that athletes, both male and female, generally will have more positive perceptions of their physical condition and body image than nonathletes.
 
 

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Method

Participants

1. Athlete Group
     Fifty athletes participating in Division II athletics (menís and womenís basketball, softball, and baseball) at a small liberal arts college in the Northeast volunteered to participate in this study. The average age of the subjects was 20.4 years. The composition of the group was as follows:

 Womenís basketball players:   13
 Menís basketball players:        13
 Womenís softball players:        12 
 Menís baseball players:           12

In the case of all the athletes, the author made contact with the coaches, who agreed to allow their athletes to participate. The athletes completed the questionnaires individually with the author either at practice or in a team-meeting setting. All athletes who were approached volunteered to participate.

2. The Nonathlete Group
     Thirty-seven nonathletes (17 male and 20 female) from a small liberal arts college in the Northeast participated in this study. Twenty-one participants completed the questionnaires for course credit, while sixteen participants volunteered. The average age of participants was 19.6 years. Participants either had never been involved in a sport or had not been involved in a sport since their sophomore years in high school.

Materials

1. Demographic Information
     All participants were asked to complete three questions about themselves before completing the surveys. Both the athletes and the nonathletes answered questions regarding their gender and their year of graduation. The athletes were asked what sport they participated in, while the nonathletes answered a Likert question regarding how much they exercised a week ranging from 1 (<30 minutes) to 6 (10+ hours) (see Appendix A).

2. The Body Esteem Scale (BES) 
     The BES (Franzoi & Shields, 1984) is a multidimensional measure that is appropriate for use by men and women. During the development of the BES, Franzoi and Shields (1984) reported that people do not appraise their own bodies or reflect on their body image from a holistic basis. Instead, a person evaluating his/her body does so based on individual and diverse perceptions of his/her bodyís characteristics. Therefore, this scale provides three subscores rather than a single overall score. The BES has 35 items (e.g., body scent, muscular strength, waist, chin, body build, sex drive, physical condition, face) in a Likert format and uses a 5 point response format, anchored by 1 ("I have strong negative feelings") and 5 ("I have strong positive feelings"). Scores are summed for each of the three subscales, with higher individual scores indicating a more positive perception of body esteem on that particular dimension (see Appendix B).
     The BES possesses acceptable internal reliability (Franzoi & Shields, 1984) with coefficient alpha subscale scores of .78 for Sexual Attractiveness Subscale, .87 for Weight Concern Subscale, and .82 for Physical Condition Subscale regarding females. For males, the measure of internal consistency resulted in alpha coefficients of .81 for the Physical Attractiveness Subscale, .85 for the Upper Body Strength Subscale, and .86 for the Physical Condition Subscale. Based on these scores, it can be concluded that the responses for each subscale are reasonably internally consistent (Franzoi & Shields, 1984).
     In order to provide an estimate of the scaleís convergent validity, it was administered along with the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965) to 44 undergraduate males and 78 undergraduate females. Adequate convergent validity was indicated by correlations ranging from .32 to .51 between BES scores and scores from Rosenbergís Self-Esteem Scale (Franzoi & Shields, 1984).

3. Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale
     This scale, developed by Gardner et al., (1999) requires participants to select one of 13 figural drawings that depict the participantís perceived and ideal body image. The figures used in this scale were created based on the average height and weight data from the National Center for Health Statistics (1987) for American males and females age 19. These statistics showed both the average and median height of an American adult male to be 69.1 inches (SD=2.8). Average weight was 172.2 lb. (SD=29.8), while the median was 169.60 lb. Average and median height of an American female was 63.7 inches (SD=2.6). Average female weight was 144.2 lb. (SD=32.3) while the median was 137.8 lb. Contour drawings of a median adult male and female were created by tracing an outline of the photograph of the "average" male and female. In the construction of the drawings, any detailed depiction of clothing, hair, facial features or muscular definition was avoided deliberately, as such details may distract the subject from concentrating exclusively on the size of the figures. In addition, such characteristics may be inappropriate for subjects of different ethnic groups. The width of the drawings was increased and decreased by 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%, 25%, and 30% to create a 13-card scale. The figures' height was held constant at 3.15 inches. Separate sets of male and female figures were printed on 4x6 inch cards (see Appendix C). The order of the 13 figural contours was randomized, reducing the participants' the chance of memorizing the position of previous answers.
     The center of this scale represented the undistorted size corresponding to the U.S. median weight of 169.6 pounds for men and 137.8 pounds for women (Gardner et al., 1999). Because the figures represent a range of +/- 30% in 5% equal interval increments, it is possible to convert each subjectís score to a percent distortion from the median and to a weight value. For example, a male subject who selected the +10% card made a judgement that his body size is 10% larger than the median male. This translates to a weight figure 110% of the median, or 186.56 pounds (169.6 pounds x 1.10).
     Test-retest reliability (r = .87) over three weeks for this scale was very high. The correlation was also significant (p<.0005) and exceeded Nunnallyís (1970) criterion of .70 as a minimally acceptable reliability coefficient for a psychometrically sound measurement.
     Validity of the scale was examined by the correspondence between an individualís reported weight and current self-ratings. A test for the difference between dependent correlations (Brunning & Kintz, 1977) indicated no significant differences in correlations (t97 = 3.04, p<.01) between scores on the Stunkard scale and the 13-card scale, indicating that the scale is equally valid as estimates of actual weight. Similar correlations were obtained for weight (r81 = .62, p<.0005) and Body Mass Index (r81 = .70, p<.0005) (Gardner et al., 1999).

Procedure
     Upon arrival, the participant was met by a female experimenter and seated. After telling the participant that this was an experiment on body image and would involve two surveys, the experimenter handed the participant a consent form and requested that the participant review and sign the form. After the participant gave his/her consent, the experimenter handed the participant a sheet of paper with the two questionnaires and instructed the participant to complete the basic demographic information. After completing the demographic information, the experimenter instructed handed the individual a set of 13 cards containing figures of different sizes. The participant was instructed to look through the cards and write down the number of the card that looked most like him/herself. The cards were given back to the experimenter. The participant was given a new set of cards composed of the same figures in a different order and asked to write down the number of the card that he/she wished to looked like. Upon completing this, the participant completed the Body Esteem Scale. See Appendix D for experimental script. After a complete debriefing (see Appendix E), the participant was thanked for his/her participation and was free to leave.
 
 

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Results

     Both 2x2 analyses of variance and Independent Samples t-tests were conducted to evaluate the relationship of the effect of being an athlete on body image. Two levels of two independent variables, gender and athlete/nonathlete, were examined. The dependent variables were the perceived and ideal body image scores from the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawings Rating Scale, as well as the scores on the different dimensions of the BES.
ANOVAs
     After hand-scoring all data, 2x2 analyses of variance were conducted on each of the dependent variables. A p-value of less than or equal to .05, for a confidence level of 95%, was used to determine statistical significance.
Perceived Body Image. The ANOVA for perceived body image revealed a significant effect for gender F(3, 83)=37.682, p=.000 (see Table 1).
 
 

       T ABLE 1

        Analysis of Variance: Dependent Variable of Perceived Body Image

        A test of Between-Subjects Effects
 

                     Source                           Type III                  df            Mean Square               F           Sig.
                                                   Sum of Squares 

                    ATHLETE                        746.709                 1              746.709                 1.590            .211
                    GENDER                         17695.360             1              17695.36               37.682          .000*
                    ATHLETE + GENDER      28.486                   1              28.486                  .061               .806
                    Error                                38976.470             83            469.596 
                    Total                               1984511.871          87 
                    Corrected Total                 57837.549            86

                       *Computed using alpha = .05
                        R Squared = .042 (Adjusted R Squared = .008)
 
 
 

The means for the male athlete (perceived m=162.08 pounds, ideal m=175.37 pounds), suggest that the male athlete wishes that he were bigger than he perceives himself. Means for the male nonathlete, however, (perceived m=172.09 pounds, ideal m=176.59 pounds) do not suggest a great amount of  body dissatisfaction. The mean scores for the female athlete on her perceived body image (m=131.74 pounds) and nonathlete (m=138.83 pounds), and the ideal score for the female athlete (m=114.10 pounds) and nonathlete (m=121.08 pounds) suggest that both female athletes and nonathletes wish their bodies were much smaller than their perceived bodies (see Tables 2 and 3).
 
 

TABLE 2
Means and Standard Deviations for Perceived Body Image Scores from the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale
 
 
 

                                                                                  Mean              Std. Deviation               N

                           Male Athlete                               162.08 lbs.               12.82                      25

                           Male Nonathlete                         172.09 lbs.               14.23                      17

                           Female Athlete                           131.74 lbs.               13.33                      25

                           Female Nonathlete                     138.83 lbs.               13.79                      20
 
 
 
 
 

TABLE 3
Means and Standard Deviations for Ideal Body Image Scores from the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale
 
 

                                                                                Mean                Std. Deviation               N

                           Male Athlete                              175.37 lbs.               10.48                       25

                           Male Nonathlete                        176.59 lbs.                8.52                        17

                           Female Athlete                          114.10 lbs.                8.30                        25

                           Female Nonathlete                    121.08 lbs.              14.28                        20
 
 
 

Ideal Body Image. The results from the ANOVA on the ideal body image dimension revealed a significant effect for gender, F(3, 83)=235.417, p=.000 (see Table 4). The means indicate that male athletes and nonathletes have nearly identical ideal body images, suggesting that all men, regardless of if they play a sport, idealize the same body image. The means of the femalesí scores on ideal body image indicate that both athletes and nonathletes desire a body image much smaller than the average. The difference between the means of the ideal body image for female athletes and nonathletes was 6.98 pounds, suggesting that athletesí and nonathletesí ideal body images do not vary in large amounts.
 

TABLE 4

Analysis of Variance: Dependent Variable of Ideal Body Image

A test of Between-Subjects Effects
 

                     Source                           Type III                 df         Mean Square            F                Sig.
                                                     Sum of Squares 

                  ATHLETE                        281.809                  1           281.809                .962             .330
                  GENDER                         68972.919              1           68972.919            235.417       .000*
                  ATHLETE + GENDER      374.946                  1           374.976               1.280           .261
                  Error                                24317.499              83         292.982 
                  Total                               1935537.798           87 
                  Corrected Total               96957.640               86

                     *Computed using alpha = .05
                      R Squared = .042 (Adjusted R Squared = .008)
 
 

Independent Samples t-tests.

Independent Samples t-tests were conducted on the dependent variables of the BES to see if there were any significant differences between athletes and nonathletes within each gender: the Sexual Attractiveness, Weight Concern and Physical Condition Subscales for females; and Physical Attractiveness, Upper Body Strength and Physical Condition Subscales for males.
Female Scores on the BES. The Independent Samples t-tests on the female scores on the BES revealed significant differences between athletes and nonathletes on the Physical Condition Subscale (p=.008), as expected. However, no statistical significance for the other two subscales (Sexual Attractiveness p=.253 and Weight Concern p=.319) was found (see Table 5). 
 

TABLE 5

Independent Samples t-test Summary for Female Scores on the Body Esteem Scale
 
 

                                                                                      df             t             Sig. (2-tailed) 

                          Sexual Attractiveness Subscale           43         -1.158            .253

                          Weight Concern Subscale                   43           1.008            .319

                          Physical Condition Subscale               43            2.789*          .008
 

                             *computed using alpha=.05
 
 

It was predicted that athletes would score higher on the dimensions of the BES than the nonathletes, suggesting that athletes have more positive feelings regarding their bodies.
In support of that prediction, the means for the Weight Concern Subscale (athlete=27.36, nonathlete=25.20) show movement in the predicted direction (see Table 6).
 

TABLE 6

Group Statistics: Means and Standard Deviations for Female Scores on the Body Esteem Scale

                                                                                                            N             Mean        Std. Deviation 

                          Sexual Attractiveness Subscale:      Athlete               25             43.96            5.56
                                                                                  Nonathlete         20             46.10            6.84 

                          Weight Concern Subscale:               Athlete               25             27.36            7.08 
                                                                                  Nonathlete         20             25.20            7.22

                          Physical Condition Subscale:           Athlete               25             33.68            5.68 
                                                                                 Nonathlete          20            28.95             5.62 
 
 

                    Sexual Attractiveness out of a possible 65.
                    Weight Concern out of a possible 50.
                    Physical Condition out of a possible 45.
 
 

Male Scores on the BES. Independent Samples t-tests on the male scores between athletes and nonathletes on the BES revealed significance on the dimensions of Upper Body Strength (p=.017) and Physical Condition (p=.002) (see Table 7).
 
 

TABLE 7

Independent Samples t-test Summary for Male Scores on the Body Esteem Scale
 

                                                                                          df                   t                 Sig. (2-tailed) 

                            Physical Attractiveness Subscale           40               .688                    .495

                            Upper Body Strength Subscale             40               2.483*               .017

                            Physical Condition Subscale                 40               3.234*               .002

                                 *computed using alpha=.05
 
 

It was predicted that athletes would score higher than nonathletes on the dimensions of the BES, suggesting that athletes have more positive feelings regarding their bodies. The significance on the dimensions of the Upper Body Strength and Physical Condition Subscales of the BES was as expected. The means for the Upper Body Strength (athlete=34.56, nonathlete=30.35) and Physical Condition (athlete=50.84, nonathlete=43.24) re-emphasize this significance (see Table 8). 
 

TABLE 8

Group Statistics: Means and Standard Deviations for Male Scores on the Body Esteem Scale
 

                                                                                                            N           Mean    Std. Deviation 

                           Physical Attractiveness Subscale:    Athlete              25           38.64             6.18 
                                                                                  Nonathlete         17           37.35             5.59

                           Upper Body Strength Subscale:       Athlete              25           34.56             5.03 
                                                                                  Nonathlete         17           30.35             5.88 

                           Physical Condition Subscale:          Athlete               25           50.84             7.20 
                                                                                 Nonathlete         17            43.24             7.88 
 

                                   Physical Attractiveness out of a possible 55.
                                   Upper Body Strength out of a possible 45.
                                   Physical Condition out of a possible 65.

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Discussion

     The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in body image satisfaction between athletes and nonathletes. It was hypothesized that athletesí scores on the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scaleís dimensions of perceived body image and ideal body image would be closer, suggesting that athletes are more satisfied with their bodies than their nonathlete counterparts. It also was predicted that athletes would score higher on the dimensions of the Body Esteem Scale (BES), which would strengthen the evidence suggesting athletes are more satisfied with their bodies. Although the primary hypothesis was not supported, results show some effects for the athlete/nonathlete variable in the predicted direction, as well as a significant effect for gender. In agreement with other research, this study found that gender is a significant predictor of dissatisfaction with body shape (Drewnowski & Yee, 1987).
    The lack of significant relationships between the variable of athlete and nonathlete allows for an explanation. Because the means were moving in the predicted direction, it is possible to inquire about why athletes have a more positive body image than nonathletes. Athletes had to measure up to tough standards to make the team; this accomplishment may provide a kind of reinforcement of good feelings about oneís body. On the other hand, nonathletes may have been cut from an athletic team at one point and time, and may have understood this as a response to their body type, consequently a reinforcement of negative feelings. In addition, when an athlete performs well, the reinforcement he/she receives may be thought of as reinforcement to how he/she looks. An individual may attribute his/her positive performance to his/her body type, or, may even contribute a negative performance to how he/she looks (Huddy, Nieman & Johnson, 1993). This reinforcement may come from coaches, trainers, parents, peers, and even audiences observing the performance. Nonathletes do not receive the same reinforcement. Instead, the nonathlete may often find him/herself comparing his/her figure with that of athletes or other highly publicized individuals. Accordingly, a nonathlete may feel more unsatisfied with his/her body as there is not any positive reinforcement for him/her. In general, athletes may be more likely to feel better about themselves and score relatively high on body image scales, possibly as a result of their body image being more closely tied to their athletic accomplishments than to physical attributes. The lack of significance on the variable of athlete/nonathlete in the present study may be attributed to the small, unrepresentative population used in this study, to be discussed later.
     Results of the present study did not indicate a significant difference between athletes and nonathletes on the variable of perceived or ideal body image; however, significance was found on the variable of gender. Although the male nonathlete perceives himself to weigh almost 10 pounds more than the male athlete, male athletes and nonathletes have an ideal body image that is almost identical, only 1.22 pounds higher for the male nonathlete. As hypothesized, this research suggests that males, both athletes and nonathletes, strive to have relatively a similiar body physique, one that is bigger than how they currently perceive themselves. It is important to recognize that the scale these scores is based on uses an average weight of 169.6 pounds. This indicates that, overall, malesí perceived and ideal body types in this study are not far from the average. These results are consistent with the literature which suggests that the adolescent male is vulnerable to the pressure to attain the ideal male body. This ideal includes a masculine physique (V-shaped), tallness, and muscularity (mesomorphic build) (Koff et al., 1990)
     Results of the female scores show a much different pattern. The female scores are based upon an average weight of 137.8 pounds. The drastic difference of 17.64 pounds between perceived and ideal body image for female athletes is consistent with the literature suggesting the concern with body image among high-performance athletes may be greater than among their nonathlete counterparts (Davis, 1992). Another radical statistic is that these female athletes wish themselves to look 23 pounds smaller than the average individual. This research may add support to the possible pressures female athletes experience to minimize body fat to very low levels (Davis, 1992).
     The results of the female nonathletesí scores on perceived body image suggest that the female nonathletes perceive themselves as almost identical to the average female. However, the female nonathletes also show a dramatic difference between their perceived and ideal body images. 
    The BES was administered to provide support for the findings of the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale, and in fact the scores of the different dimensions did. Results indicated significance on the Physical Condition Subscale for women, suggesting that athletes are more satisfied with their bodies in regard to stamina, strength and agility than their nonathlete counterparts. Items on the Physical Condition Subscale include physical stamina, reflexes, muscular strength, energy level, biceps, physical coordination, agility, health and physical condition. However, no significance was found for women on the other two dimensions of the BES: the Sexual Attractiveness Subscale and the Weight Concern Subscale. 
     The Sexual Attractiveness Subscale is composed of body parts or functions that involve the appearance/size of the body and generally cannot be changed through exercise, only through the use of cosmetics. For example, body scent, nose, lips, ears, chin, chest, appearance of eyes, cheekbones, sex drive, sex organs, sex activities, body hair and face cannot be altered through exercise. Therefore, the absence of significance on this dimension can be explained as both athletes and nonathletes feel the same pressure to conform to the societal ideal, without any real way to do so as this dimension cannot be changed by exercise. Although no significance was found regarding this dimension, the means suggest that neither the athletes or the nonathletes were satisfied with their bodies in regard to this dimension.
     In contrast, the body parts that comprise of the Weight Concern Subscale can be physically altered through exercise or controlled food intake. For instance, items on this scale include appetite, waist, thighs, body build, buttocks, hips, legs, figure/physique, stomach and weight. Again, the absence of significance on this dimension was not unanticipated as the items on this dimension are the body parts that are most objectified by men in our culture as defining female sexuality. The means here show that women in this study, athletic or not, are not satisfied with their bodies and feel the pressure to conform to the often unrealistic figure that emphasizes thinness. 
     Not unexpectedly, the male athletes scored much higher on the Upper Body Strength Subscale than their nonathlete counterparts. This significance was predicted as the Upper Body Strength Subscale is composed of muscular strength, biceps, body build, physical coordination, width of shoulders, arms, chest, figure/physique, and sex drive. The majority of these factors can be changed through exercise, and are idealized to be bigger and more broad. It is evident that athletes have stronger positive feelings regarding body parts and functions such as these.
     Just as the male athletes showed significance on the Upper Body Strength Subscale, significance also was found on the Physical Condition Subscale. The Physical Condition Subscale is composed of the following body parts and functions: appetite, physical stamina, reflexes, waist, energy level, thighs, physical coordination, agility, figure/physique, appearance of stomach, health, physical condition, and weight. These parts and functions of the body are defined as being able to help or hinder physical activity and soley as static objects, hence, they have a more significant purpose for the athletes. Once again, as predicted, the athletes scored higher on this scale than the nonathletes.
     The only male dimension of the BES that did not show any significance was the Physical Attractiveness Subscale. This subscale relates to the facial features and aspects of a manís physique, such as nose, lips, ears, chin, buttocks, appearance of eyes, cheeks, hips, feet, sex organs and face. These characteristics tend to determine if a man is judged as handsome. Again, the reason that significance may not be present on this dimension of the BES in the present study may relate to the fact that both the athletes and the nonathletes feel the same pressure to obtain the culturally defined image. This is evident when looking at the average scores between male athletes and nonathletes. These findings are consistent with the literature suggesting that in addition to the athletes, the nonathletes also are attempting to obtain a more mesomorphic build and gain weight to obtain the culturally desired figure (Parks & Read, 1997).
     Although there were many dimensions of this study where significance was found, some relationships might have been stronger had there been a larger population of participants to draw from. In fact, because such a small population was available, some participants who labeled themselves as nonathletes - meaning they had never participated in a sport or who had not participated in sports since their sophomore year in high school, but did exercise more than five hours a week were included in this study. This may play a crucial role in the lack of significance between male athletes and nonathletes regarding perceived and ideal body image as a larger representation of true nonathletes, may have provided a true representation of the population that was intended to study. Literature suggests that a muscular male body among college males is desirable (Tucker, 1982), and consequently, males engage in exercise to obtain that desirable build. Therefore, although the nonathletes had never participated in a sport, or had not participated in sports since their sophomore year in high school, the majority exercised. Getting a population of true nonathletes is vital to a study such as this. Future research with access to a larger population consisting of athletes as well as true nonathletes may provide stronger relationships.
     In addition, the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale is based on the average heights and weights from 1987. A scale based on more recent averages would be especially important to a study such as this one that used basketball players. At the present time, basketball players obviously are much taller than 69.1 inches for males and 63.7 inches for females. In addition, neither scale utilized in this study focused on height as an issue. The effect height has on body image should be examined in a future study as little research has investigated this relationship.
     The Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale, which requires self-report data instead of measurement, was used in this study to measure satisfaction or dissatisfaction between athletes and nonathletes perceived and ideal bodies. Research has shown that women tend to see themselves as overweight even if they are not (Cash et al., 1986). Past research suggests that women are more likely than men to describe themselves as overweight, worry about being or becoming fat, and express greater concern with dieting and body weight (Drewnowski, Riskey & Desor, 1982). Such research suggests that males are more satisfied with their bodies than their females, as was found in the present study. Introducing a test that measures an individualís actual weight and height, in addition to their own perceived and ideal images, may provide a conception of the individualís actual body type that can be compared with his/her perceived and ideal body images to assess true satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
     The figural drawings represent only contours of the human form and have no facial characteristics or other characteristics representative of any specific ethnic group. In addition, any detailed depiction of clothing, hair, facial features or muscular definition was deliberately avoided in the development of the scale. It has been suggested that such details may distract the subject from concentrating exclusively on the size of the figures (Gardner et al., 1999). However, the inability to control for how weight is differentially distributed among body regions is a limiting feature of using figural drawings (Gardner et al., 1999). The distribution of weight gain over body regions differs significantly between individuals and between ethnic groups. The somatotype the figures are based on is not representative of all adults, but rather represents the prototypical white adult of average height and weight (Gardner et al., 1999).
The Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale is a Likert-type rating scale requiring subjects to select their responses from a limited number of choices available (Gardner et al., 1998). However, scale coarseness is not as problematic in this scale as it is present in others because the difference between drawings is a mere 5% (Gardner et al., 1998). Therefore, the scale used in this study is highly reliable and valid.
    The presence of a female experimenter during the testing process also may have been a critical factor for individuals when answering questions. Each individual was assured that all answers were confidential; however, because the tests where administered individually, some participants may have felt pressured to answer specific questions in a particular way. For example, when nonathletes were questioned regarding how much they exercise a week, they may have felt some cognitive dissonance when they tried to determine an answer. Individuals may have exaggerated the amount of time they spent exercising, possibly leading to a false consensus effect, the tendency to believe that our own traits, actions, and choices are more common than they really are. (Franzoi, 2000). Therefore, an individual completing the demographic information may have overestimated how much they exercise in order to relieve feelings of dissonance. In addition, the false consensus effect may have influenced answers on the BES. As the participant answered the questions regarding their own body parts or function, they may have answered more positively thinking that their own traits are as common to others. In addition, as participants completed the BES, they were forced to become self-aware of their bodies and body parts in ways they may have never thought about before. This may also have introduced feelings of dissonance within the participant, causing him/her to try to conform to subjective norms. In addition, the good participant effect may have influenced participantsí responses as they became aware of demand characteristics, and consequently their behavior was to conform to those expectations.
It is possible that the effect that gender had may have overshadowed the possible effect of being an athlete/nonathlete on body image. Therefore, future research conducting separate studies for each gender on the variable of athlete and nonathlete, using the same tools as this study, may produce significant results. It would be interesting to investigate whether the athlete/nonathlete variable would show effect if the gender factor was not there to overshadow any effects.
     In addition to separate studies for each gender, future research might use a reasons for exercise as a measurement in addition to the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale and the BES to assess individualís reasons for exercising. Although good diet and exercise leads to an improvement in cardiovascular health, evidence shows that, particularly in females, exercise is used for weight control and enhanced physical attractiveness rather than for its assumed health benefits (Garner et al., 1984). Including a test questioning the actual reasons an individual exercises or participates in a sport may offer support to the notion that athletes are more satisfied with their bodies because they are participating in activities that allow them to become more content with their bodies. This reasons for exercise questionnaire could be in addition to a true population of nonathletes. 
As previously discussed, the nonathletes in this study did not accurately portray the true sample intended to study, therefore, future research using a true nonathlete and athlete population would investigate this issue more concisely.
     In addition, background information regarding the participants, specifically regarding any eating disorders, any possible drug use, any excessive exercise patterns, and other history of each participant may help the scientific community better understand this important issue.
    The information gained through the present study is applicable to all individuals, but more specifically to athletes, coaches, trainers and parents of athletes. Although athletes did score significantly higher on the Physical Condition Subscale than nonathletes ? indicating that athletes have more positive feelings about their physical conditions, perhaps as a result of the physical demands placed on athletes ? virtually all those surveyed wanted to change their bodies in one way or another: women wanted to be more thin, while men sought to be larger. This information is important in predicting future behavior of both male and female athletes and nonathletes. Understanding how individuals perceive their bodies, and also knowing how they wished they looked, may allow society to prevent eating disorders and steroid use. Using the findings of this study to identify individuals at risk for unhealthy behaviors, and then properly educating athletes, nonathletes, teachers, nurses, doctors, coaches, trainers, and parents would be useful in the prevention of unhealthy behaviors. Also, it is important for our society to teach individuals to accept themselves as they are. The pressures individuals will encounter as they watch television, attend school, participate (or not) in athletics to look a certain way can be counterbalanced through proper education. 
    In addition, literature suggests that the larger, more muscular male is viewed by others as possessing more favorable skills and personality traits, and he also tends to be more athletically capable and physically skilled than the less mesomorphic individuals (Berscheid & Walster, 1972). Consequently, the males possessing or perceived as possessing such qualities would be the recipients of more positive feedback, externally and internally, and would be more inclined to feel better about themselves than less muscular or less mesomorphic individual (Tucker, 1982). For females, the literature suggests that there is a desire for small hips and thighs, but an increased interest in broader shoulders and more muscular arms (Lenart et al., 1995). Success, happiness, self-determination, satisfaction, beauty and sexual appeal are all linked to this physique (Bordo, 1993). The increased desire for the idealized body leads to the conclusion that much of the way women view themselves is set largely by the sociocultural norms of society (Lenart et al., 1995).
Although the results of this study do not show significance on the variable of athlete/nonathlete, the means were moving in the predicted direction. For example, it is possible that many of the female athletes participate in sports only as a means to a body that more closely fits the perceived societal idea. However, on the other end of the spectrum, there also are athletes who look to diet supplements to help them increase their body build as a way to reach their perceived ideal body image. With names like Mega Mass, Super Juice and Carbo Surge, the advertisements for these products aim to appeal especially to athletes (Beltz & Doering, 1993). While many athletes have turned away from anabolic steroids and toward nutritional supplements in the hope of gaining a competitive edge without threatening their health (Beltz & Doering, 1993), the desire to be bigger still is present. 
     These messages and pressures regarding body image that athletes and nonathletes receive on a daily basis helps us understand the extremes an individual will go to achieve the ideal body image. Research suggests that given a disparity between perceived body image and ideal body image, dissatisfaction with oneís physical appearance may lead to lower self-esteem, higher social anxiety and intense self-consciousness (Cash, 1994). Diverse sociocultural pressures, including advertising and mass media, may promote an increasing thin ideal of the female body and contribute to the misperception of body weight. The perception of the self as overweight, regardless of actual weight, and desire for further thinness have been considered risk factors for eating disorders among women (Drewnowski & Yee, 1987). The results of the current study show a significant difference between genders, suggesting that females are not as satisfied with their bodies as males. This is consistent with the research that suggests that college women have special pressures to look good physically (McCauley, Mintz & Glenn, 1988). The BES scores in this study may reflect the difficulty individuals have when comparing themselves to an unrealistically high standard. Given the pervasiveness of the ideal female form as presented in the media, women in this study may be unrealistically assessing body image against such standards. 
     In general, athletes may be more likely to feel good about themselves and score higher on body image scales. Perhaps their body image is more closely tied to their athletic accomplishments than to physical attributes (Huddy et al., 1993). Even though a significant effect was not found for the variable of athlete/nonathlete, the means were moving in the predicted direction. This indicates that all individuals in our society are very aware of what is conceptualized as being beautiful or handsome, as well as that when that idealized body is unobtainable individuals' feelings about themselves and their bodies are damaged. Unfortunately, a less than ideal body image may initiate unhealthy behaviors within both athletes and nonathletes. The recognition of body image satisfaction and dissatisfaction are the first steps in the prevention of unhealthy behavior.

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Appendices

Appendix A:
Demographic Information Collected for Athletes.

Sport:
Male/Female:
Year of Graduation:
 

Demographic Information Collected for Nonathletes

How much do you exercise a week:
<30 minutes 30 minutes-1 hour 1-2 hours 2-5 hours 5-10 hours 10+ hours

Male/Female:

Year of Graduation:

Appendix B:
A Sample of Items from the Body Esteem Scale (Franzoi & Shields, 1984)

                     Body Scent       Chin                 Figure of Physique
                     Nose                Agility              Sex Organs
                     Waist          Chest or Breast       Body Hair
                     Ears                 Hips                Weight
 

Appendix C:
Figures used in the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Scale
     Please see hard copy in the psychology department
 
 

Appendix D:
Experimental Script

Hi. My name is Alyson. This study is looking at body image. All I am asking you to do is to choose your perceived and ideal body image from a selection of silhouettes, and then answer a questionnaire regarding your feelings towards your body parts and functions.
Could you please read and sign this informed consent form? If you feel uncomfortable at any time, you have the option of aborting the study. Do you have any questions regarding the study so far?
Could you please answer the top three questions on the top of the sheet I gave you. Ok, now I am going to hand you thirteen index cards, each having a silhouette figure on it. I'm asking you to flip through the cards and write down the number of the figure that you think looks most like you on the line next to 'perceived body image' on the questionnaire. Each silhouette has a number in the corner, and the number has no relationship to the figure, it is only used for my purposes.
Great, now I am going to give you a different set of index cards. This time, I am going to ask you to write down the number of the figure that you wished you looked like next to 'ideal body image' on the questionnaire. Again, the number in the corner is for my purposes only, and does not have a relationship with the figure.
Now, all I am asking you to do is to answer the survey on the other side of the paper. This is the Body Esteem Scale, and I'm asking you to rank on a scale from 1 to 5 how you feel about each body part of function of your own body.
Thank you very much for participating in this study. Here is a debriefing form, which includes my hypothesis, for you to look over. It is important to remember, we all view our bodies differently, and how you answered any of these questions does not reflect on you as an individual. There are not any right or wrong answers. 
If you have any question or concerns, you may ask them now, or contact me at my box at a later point.
Thank you again for your help. 

Appendix E:
Debriefing Form Given to Participants Upon Completion

BODY IMAGE SATISFACTION BETWEEN ATHLETES AND NONATHLTES

Research suggests the degree to which people are satisfied with their bodies may have profound implications for their self-perceptions and behaviors. The factors that influence body image satisfaction may differ for men and women, as well as athletes and nonathletes. The purpose of this research is to see whether or not athletes and nonathletes differ in their body image satisfaction.
The athletes and the nonathletes in this study completed the Body Esteem Scale (BES), in addition to the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale. The BES will measure your score on three different dimensions of body image. Your answers on the Thirteen Figure Contour Drawing Rating Scale will help me determine your perceived and your ideal body image, and the amount of satisfaction or dissatisfaction between the two.
It is important to remember that we all view ourselves and our bodies differently. How you answered any items of this survey does not reflect on you as an individual. There are not any right or wrong answers.
I am asking for you assistance in accurately completing this research by not discussing any part of this study, or what we did today with your peers. If you have any questions, please ask me now, or you may contact me, Alyson Hamilton, after December 1, 2000, at Box 0802.

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