The Effect of Ideal Body Images on Body Dissatisfaction and Well-being in Female, Self- Identified Athletes and Non-athletes

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Maffei, Alexandrea
Washburn University
Department of Psychology
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Previous research has found that internalizing body ideals has been directly related to the development of body image dissatisfaction (Homan, 2010; Swami, Steadman, & Tovée, 2009). When comparing female athletes to female non-athletes, mixed results exist regarding which group experiences more difficulties with body image dissatisfaction, well-being, and disordered eating (Kong & Harris, 2015; McLester, Hardin, & Hoppe, 2014). The present study was designed to determine whether female athletes, when directly compared to female non-athletes, experience greater body image dissatisfaction and larger reductions in well-being after being exposed to images of thin and athletic body ideals. Results indicated participants did not experience body image dissatisfaction and negative impacts on well-being (positive and negative affect) as a result of viewing the thin and athletic ideal images. The results from current study suggest that female athletes did not experience greater negative effects on body image dissatisfaction and well-being after exposure to the athletic and thin ideal when compared to female non-athletes.