Authors:
Bruce D. Hale PhD Berks College, Pennsylvania State University, Reading, PA, USA
Dept. of Kinesiology, Penn State Berks, 114a BCC, Tulpehocken Rd., Reading, PA, 19610, USA

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Danielle Diehl Berks College, Pennsylvania State University, Reading, PA, USA

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Krista Weaver Berks College, Pennsylvania State University, Reading, PA, USA

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Michael Briggs Berks College, Pennsylvania State University, Reading, PA, USA

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Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Extensive research has shown that male bodybuilders are at high risk for exercise dependence, but few studies have measured these variables in female bodybuilders. Prior research has postulated that muscular dysmorphia was more prevalent in men than women, but several qualitative studies of female bodybuilders have indicated that female bodybuilders show the same body image concerns. Only one study has compared female bodybuilders with control recreational female lifters on eating behaviors, body image, shape pre-occupation, body dissatisfaction, and steroid use. The purpose of this study was to compare exercise dependence and muscle dysmorphia measures between groups of female weight lifters.

Methods

Seventy-four female lifters were classified into three lifting types (26 expert bodybuilders, 10 or more competitions; 29 novice bodybuilders, 3 or less competitions; and 19 fitness lifters, at least 6 months prior lifting) who each completed a demographic questionnaire, the Exercise Dependence Scale (EDS), the Drive for Thinness scale (DFT) of the Eating Disorder Inventory-2, the Bodybuilding Dependence Scale (BDS), and the Muscle Dysmorphia Inventory (MDI).

Results

Female bodybuilders scored higher than fitness lifters for EDS Total, BDS Training and Social Dependence, and on Supplement Use, Dietary Behavior, Exercise Dependence, and Size Symmetry scales of the MDI.

Discussion and conclusions

Female bodybuilders seem to be more at risk for exercise dependence and muscle dysmorphia symptoms than female recreational weight lifters.

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Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
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Journal of Behavioral Addictions
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  • Eric HOLLANDER (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA)
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  • Chih-Hung KO (Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan)
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  • Hae Kook LEE (The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea)
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  • Katerina LUKAVSKA (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Giovanni MARTINOTTI (‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy)
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  • Astrid MÜLLER (Hannover Medical School, Germany)
  • Daniel Thor OLASON (University of Iceland, Iceland)
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  • Michael SCHAUB (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Marcantanio M. SPADA (London South Bank University, United Kingdom)
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  • Alexander E. VOISKOUNSKY (Moscow State University, Russia)
  • Aviv M. WEINSTEIN (Ariel University, Israel)
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