Send to

Choose Destination
Body Image. 2010 Jun;7(3):240-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Athletic-ideal and thin-ideal internalization as prospective predictors of body dissatisfaction, dieting, and compulsive exercise.

Author information

Grove City College, Grove City, PA 16127, United States.


Although internalization of the thin ideal has been extensively researched and is now regarded as a risk factor for eating disturbance, endorsement of the firm, athletic body ideal has received only minimal attention. This short-term longitudinal study explored whether internalization of two aspects of the current cultural ideal (thinness and athleticism) prospectively predicted three potentially deleterious outcomes: body dissatisfaction, dieting, and compulsive exercise. Undergraduate women (N=231) completed self-report measures at the beginning of the academic year and again 7 months later (N=156 at Time 2). Athletic-ideal internalization predicted change in compulsive exercise over the 7-month study period but not body dissatisfaction or dieting; thin-ideal internalization predicted change in all three outcomes. When both internalization measures were tested simultaneously, neither contributed unique variance. Results suggest that athletic-ideal internalization is not as detrimental as thin-ideal internalization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center