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  • Author or Editor: Heather Hausenblas x
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Abstract

Background and aims

Exercise dependence is implicated in the development of eating disorders and muscle dysmorphic disorder. Although conceptually these disorders represent similar pathologies they largely affect different genders and result in opposite body composition, appearance, and ideal-weight goals (i.e., to gain or lose/maintain weight). Therefore, understanding individuals' ideal-weight goals related to engaging in exercise while simultaneously examining gender differences in exercise dependence symptoms may help to identify those whom may be most at-risk for eating disorders and muscle dysmorphic disorder. The purpose of our study was to examine the moderating effect of gender for exercise dependence symptoms in relation to weight gain, loss, or maintenance goals.

Methods

Self-reported exercise behavior and exercise dependence symptoms (i.e., Exercise Dependence Scale) were assessed in 513 undergraduate students.

Results

Our analysis revealed a moderating effect for gender on ideal-weight goals and a gender difference in exercise dependence symptoms. Specifically, men who were dissatisfied with their current weight reported more exercise dependence symptoms than women.

Conclusions

These results support a growing body of research and extend our understanding of the relationships among exercise dependence and gender specific body-focused psychiatric disorders.

Open access

Background and aims

The current study examined the mediating role of maladaptive perfectionism among parental psychological control, eating disorder symptoms, and exercise dependence symptoms by gender in habitual exercisers.

Methods

Participants were 348 Italian exercisers (n = 178 men and n = 170 women; M age = 20.57, SD = 1.13) who completed self-report questionnaires assessing their parental psychological control, maladaptive perfectionism, eating disorder symptoms, and exercise dependence symptoms.

Results

Results of the present study confirmed the mediating role of maladaptive perfectionism for eating disorder and exercise dependence symptoms for the male and female exercisers in the maternal data. In the paternal data, maladaptive perfectionism mediated the relationships between paternal psychological control and eating disorder and exercise dependence symptoms as full mediator for female participants and as partial mediator for male participants.

Discussion

Findings of the present study suggest that it may be beneficial to consider dimensions of maladaptive perfectionism and parental psychological control when studying eating disorder and exercise dependence symptoms in habitual exerciser.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

The purpose of this study was to verify the factorial structure, internal validity, reliability, and criterion validity of the 21-item Exercise Dependence Scale-Revised (EDS-R) in an Italian sample.

Methods

Italian voluntary (N = 519) users of gyms who had a history of regular exercise for over a year completed the EDS-R and measures of exercise frequency.

Results and conclusions

Confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated a good fit to the hypothesized 7-factor model, and adequate internal consistency for the scale was evidenced. Criterion validity was evidenced by significant correlations among all the subscale of the EDS and exercise frequency. Finally, individuals at risk for exercise dependence reported more exercise behavior compared to the nondependent-symptomatic and nondependent-asymptomatic groups. These results suggest that the seven subscales of the Italian version of the EDS are measuring the construct of exercise dependence as defined by the DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence and also confirm previous research using the EDS-R in other languages. More research is needed to examine the psychometric properties of the EDS-R in diverse populations with various research designs.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Sebastiano Costa, Heather A. Hausenblas, Patrizia Oliva, Francesca Cuzzocrea and Rosalba Larcan

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of our study was to explore the prevalence, and the role of mood, exercise frequency, age, and gender differences of exercise dependence.

Methods

Regular exercisers (N = 409) completed a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Exercise Dependence Scale, and the Profile of Mood States. For data analyses, the participants were stratified for sex and age (age ranges = young adults: 18–24 years, adults: 25–44 years, and middle-aged adults: 45–64 years).

Results

We found that: (a) 4.4% of the participants were classified as at-risk for exercise dependence; (b) the men and the two younger groups (i.e., young adults and adults) had higher exercise dependence scores; and (c) age, gender, exercise frequency, and mood state were related to exercise dependence.

Conclusions

Our results support previous research on the prevalence of exercise dependence and reveal that adulthood may be the critical age for developing exercise dependence. These findings have practical implication for identifying individuals at-risk for exercise dependence symptoms, and may aid in targeting and guiding the implementation of prevention program for adults.

Open access