Sex Roles

, Volume 48, Issue 1–2, pp 89–95

Brief Report: Self-Objectification and Esteem in Young Women: The Mediating Role of Reasons for Exercise

  • Peter Strelan
  • Sarah J. Mehaffey
  • Marika Tiggemann
Article

Abstract

In this study we investigated the interrelationships between self-objectification, reasons for exercise, body satisfaction, body esteem, and self-esteem. A questionnaire that assessed each of these constructs was completed by 104 female participants between the ages of 16 and 25 who exercised regularly at a fitness center. Self-objectification and appearance-related reasons for exercise were significantly negatively related to body satisfaction, body esteem, and self-esteem, and functional reasons for exercise were positively related to each of these outcome measures. Self-objectification also predicted the reasons women exercise. More important, reasons for exercise were found to mediate the relationships between self-objectification and body satisfaction, body esteem, and self-esteem. It was concluded that objectification theory can be extended usefully into the realm of exercise and that, among women who exercise, motivations for exercise account for the reduced body satisfaction and self-esteem for women high on self-objectification.

self-objectification esteem exercise 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Strelan
    • 1
  • Sarah J. Mehaffey
    • 1
  • Marika Tiggemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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