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Wednesday, April 22 • 11:00am - 1:00pm
Athlete’s Bodies; Emphasizing Function or Physique?

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Athletes, and their bodies, are often in the spotlight. With societal pressures on appearance, athletes may emphasize the importance of how their bodies look rather than how they perform. Previous research has shown that females report higher levels of concern about body appearance than males. The goal of this study was to measure male and female college student athletes’ perceptions of their bodies and compare them across differing sports. We hypothesized that overall females would have more critical or negative perceptions of their bodies than males. We administered surveys assessing physical self-concept to members of the women’s and men’s tennis, soccer, basketball, and cross country teams (approximately 50 females and 60 males) at UNC Asheville. Specific subscales, adapted from previous research, assessed participants’ comfort with their bodies, confidence with their bodies, and self-evaluation of various aspects of body image (e.g., perceived body fat, body shape, and muscularity). Responses of males and females will be compared in the effort to identify possible similarities or differences in physical self-concept. Our findings may help identify disparities between male and female athletes’ body perceptions as well as aid in understanding how athletics affects body perception.

Wednesday April 22, 2015 11:00am - 1:00pm PDT
Wilma Sherril Center Concourse

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