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

Search for other papers by Bruce D. Hale PhD in
Current site
Google Scholar
Danielle Diehl Berks College, Pennsylvania State University, Reading, PA, USA

Search for other papers by Danielle Diehl in
Current site
Google Scholar
Krista Weaver Berks College, Pennsylvania State University, Reading, PA, USA

Search for other papers by Krista Weaver in
Current site
Google Scholar
, and
Michael Briggs Berks College, Pennsylvania State University, Reading, PA, USA

Search for other papers by Michael Briggs in
Current site
Google Scholar
Open access


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.


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).


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.

  • B Allegre M Souville P Therme M Griffiths 2006 Definitions and measures of exercise dependence Addiction Research and Theory 14 631 646.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • American Psychiatric Association 1994 Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders 4th Edition Author Washington, DC.

  • K Berczik A Szabo M D Griffiths T Kurimay B Kun R Urban Z Demetovics 2012 Exercise addiction: Symptoms, diagnosis, epidemiology, and etiology Substance Use & Misuse 47 403 417.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • A G Blouin G S Goldfield 1995 Body image and steroid use in male bodybuilders International Journal of Eating Disorders 18 159 165.

  • A Bolin 1992 Flex appeal, food, and fat: Competitive bodybuilding, gender, and diet Play and Culture 5 378 400.

  • B Cook H Hausenblas J Rossi 2013 The moderating effect of gender on ideal-weight goals and exercise dependence symptoms Journal of Behavioral Addictions 2 1 51 55.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • A R T Donders G J M G Van der Heijden T Stijnen K G M Moons 2006 Review: A gentle introduction to imputation of missing values Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 59 1087 1091.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D M Garner 1991 Eating Disorder Inventory-2 manual Psychological Assessment Resources Odessa, FL.

  • G S Goldfield 2009 Body image, disordered eating, and anabolic steroid use in female bodybuilders Eating Disorders 17 200 210.

  • S R Guthrie S Castelnuovo 1992 Elite women bodybuilders: Models of resistance or compliance? Play and Culture 5 401 408.

  • B D Hale A Roth R DeLong M Briggs 2010 Exercise dependence and the drive for muscularity in male bodybuilders, power lifters, and fitness lifters Body Image 7 234 239.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • B D Hale D Smith 2012 Bodybuilding T Cash Encyclopedia of body image and human performance Elsevier Oxford, UK.

  • H Hausenblas P Giacobbi 2004 Relationship between exercise dependence symptoms and personality Personality and Individual Differences 36 1265 1273.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • H Hausenblas D Symons Downs 2002 Exercise dependence: A systematic review Psychology of Sport and Exercise 3 89 123.

  • J Heaney A Ginty D Carroll A Phillips 2011 Preliminary evidence that exercise dependence is associated with blunted cardiac and cortisol reactions to acute psychological stress International Journal of Psychophysiology 79 2 323 329.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R Hurst B D Hale D Smith 2000 Exercise dependence in bodybuilders and weight lifters British Journal of Sports Medicine 11 319 325.

  • A M Klein 1986 Pumping iron: Crisis and contradiction in bodybuilding subculture Society of Sport Journal 3 112 133.

  • A M Klein 1992 Man makes himself: Alienation and self-objectification in bodybuilding Play and Culture 5 326 337.

  • C D Lantz D J Rhea J L Mayhew 2001 The drive for size: A psycho-behavioral model of muscle dysmorphia International Sport Journal 5 71 85.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • J E Leone E J Sedory K A Gray 2005 Recognition and treatment of muscle dysmorphia and related body image disorders Journal of Athletic Training 40 352 359.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • R J A Little 1992 Regression with missing x's: A review Journal of the American Statistical Association 87 420 1227 1237.

  • D R McCreary D K Sasse 2000 An exploration of the drive for muscularity in adolescent boys and girls Journal of American College Health 48 297 304.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • H G Pope K A Phillips R Olivardia 2000 The Adonis complex: The secret crisis of male body obsession New York Free Press.

  • D J Rhea C D Lantz A E Cornelius 2004 Development of the Muscle Dysmorphia Inventory (MDI) The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 44 428 435.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D Smith B D Hale 2004 Validity and factor structure of the Bodybuilding Dependence Scale British Journal of Sports Medicine 38 177 181.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D Smith B D Hale 2005 Exercise dependence in bodybuilding: Antecedents and reliability of measurement Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 45 401 408.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D Smith B D Hale 2011 Exercise dependence L D T D The psychology of strength training and conditioning Routledge London, UK.

  • D K Smith B D Hale D J Collins 1998 Measurement of exercise dependence in bodybuilders Journal of Sport Medicine and Physical Fitness 38 66 74.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D Symons Downs H Hausenblas C R Nigg 2004 Factorial validity and psychometric examination of the Exercise Dependence Scale-Revised Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science 8 183 201.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • A Terry A Szabo M Griffiths 2004 The Exercise Addiction Inventory: A new brief screening tool Addiction Research and Theory 12 489 499.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • J K Thompson L J Heinberg M Altabe S Tantleff-Dunn 1999 Exacting beauty: Theory, assessment, and treatment of body image disturbance American Psychological Association Washington, D.C..

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D Tod D Lavallee 2010 Towards a conceptual understanding of muscle dysmorphia development and sustainment International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology 3 2 111 131.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • D Veale 1987 Exercise dependence British Journal of Addiction 82 735 740.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
The author instructions are available in PDF.
Please, download the file from HERE


Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
Address: Izabella u. 46. H-1064 Budapest, Hungary
Phone: +36-1-461-2681

Indexing and Abstracting Services:

  • Web of Science [Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch®)
  • Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition
  • Social Sciences Citation Index®
  • Journal Citation Reports/ Social Sciences Edition
  • Current Contents®/Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • GoogleScholar
  • PsycINFO
  • PubMed Central
  • Medline
  • CABI
  • CABELLS Journalytics

Web of Science  
Journal Impact Factor 6.6
Rank by Impact Factor Q1 (Psychiatry)
Journal Citation Indicator 1.59
CiteScore 12.3
CiteScore rank Q1 (Clinical Psychology)
SNIP 1.604
SJR index 2.188
SJR Q rank Q1

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Publication Model Gold Open Access
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge 990 EUR/article for articles submitted after 30 April 2023 (850 EUR for articles submitted prior to this date)
Regional discounts on country of the funding agency World Bank Lower-middle-income economies: 50%
World Bank Low-income economies: 100%
Further Discounts Corresponding authors, affiliated to an EISZ member institution subscribing to the journal package of Akadémiai Kiadó: 100%.
Subscription Information Gold Open Access

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Language English
Size A4
Year of
per Year
per Year
Founder Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
H-1053 Budapest, Hungary Egyetem tér 1-3.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2062-5871 (Print)
ISSN 2063-5303 (Online)

Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Zsolt DEMETROVICS

Assistant Editor(s): Csilla ÁGOSTON

Associate Editors

  • Stephanie ANTONS (Universitat Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
  • Joel BILLIEUX (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Beáta BŐTHE (University of Montreal, Canada)
  • Matthias BRAND (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
  • Ruth J. van HOLST (Amsterdam UMC, The Netherlands)
  • Daniel KING (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Gyöngyi KÖKÖNYEI (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Ludwig KRAUS (IFT Institute for Therapy Research, Germany)
  • Marc N. POTENZA (Yale University, USA)
  • Hans-Jurgen RUMPF (University of Lübeck, Germany)

Editorial Board

  • Sophia ACHAB (Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Switzerland)
  • Alex BALDACCHINO (St Andrews University, United Kingdom)
  • Judit BALÁZS (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Maria BELLRINGER (Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand)
  • Henrietta BOWDEN-JONES (Imperial College, United Kingdom)
  • Damien BREVERS (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)
  • Wim VAN DEN BRINK (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Julius BURKAUSKAS (Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Lithuania)
  • Gerhard BÜHRINGER (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)
  • Silvia CASALE (University of Florence, Florence, Italy)
  • Luke CLARK (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada)
  • Jeffrey L. DEREVENSKY (McGill University, Canada)
  • Geert DOM (University of Antwerp, Belgium)
  • Nicki DOWLING (Deakin University, Geelong, Australia)
  • Hamed EKHTIARI (University of Minnesota, United States)
  • Jon ELHAI (University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
  • Ana ESTEVEZ (University of Deusto, Spain)
  • Fernando FERNANDEZ-ARANDA (Bellvitge University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain)
  • Naomi FINEBERG (University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom)
  • Sally GAINSBURY (The University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia)
  • Belle GAVRIEL-FRIED (The Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University, Israel)
  • Biljana GJONESKA (Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Republic of North Macedonia)
  • Marie GRALL-BRONNEC (University Hospital of Nantes, France)
  • Jon E. GRANT (University of Minnesota, USA)
  • Mark GRIFFITHS (Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom)
  • Joshua GRUBBS (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA)
  • Anneke GOUDRIAAN (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Susumu HIGUCHI (National Hospital Organization Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, Japan)
  • David HODGINS (University of Calgary, Canada)
  • Eric HOLLANDER (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA)
  • Zsolt HORVÁTH (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Susana JIMÉNEZ-MURCIA (Clinical Psychology Unit, Bellvitge University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain)
  • Yasser KHAZAAL (Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland)
  • Orsolya KIRÁLY (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Chih-Hung KO (Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan)
  • Shane KRAUS (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, USA)
  • Hae Kook LEE (The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea)
  • Bernadette KUN (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Katerina LUKAVSKA (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)
  • Giovanni MARTINOTTI (‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy)
  • Gemma MESTRE-BACH (Universidad Internacional de la Rioja, La Rioja, Spain)
  • Astrid MÜLLER (Hannover Medical School, Germany)
  • Daniel Thor OLASON (University of Iceland, Iceland)
  • Ståle PALLESEN (University of Bergen, Norway)
  • Afarin RAHIMI-MOVAGHAR (Teheran University of Medical Sciences, Iran)
  • József RÁCZ (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)
  • Michael SCHAUB (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Marcantanio M. SPADA (London South Bank University, United Kingdom)
  • Daniel SPRITZER (Study Group on Technological Addictions, Brazil)
  • Dan J. STEIN (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Sherry H. STEWART (Dalhousie University, Canada)
  • Attila SZABÓ (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Hermano TAVARES (Instituto de Psiquiatria do Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
  • Alexander E. VOISKOUNSKY (Moscow State University, Russia)
  • Aviv M. WEINSTEIN (Ariel University, Israel)
  • Anise WU (University of Macau, Macao, China)


Monthly Content Usage

Abstract Views Full Text Views PDF Downloads
Feb 2024 0 114 113
Mar 2024 0 132 100
Apr 2024 0 138 156
May 2024 0 93 106
Jun 2024 0 112 103
Jul 2024 0 53 59
Aug 2024 0 0 0