Document Type



While research has examined the relationship between society’s ideal male body and body dissatisfaction in the general male population, less is known regarding the relationship between male body image ideals and body dissatisfaction in male athletes. However, research has suggested that male athletes are at greater risk for body dissatisfaction because they are exposed to two ideal bodies: that of society and their sport. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in body dissatisfaction for collegiate male athletes participating in various sports and to determine whether society’s or the sport’s ideal body has a greater influence on male athletes’ body dissatisfaction levels. Eighty-two Division III male athletes, ranging in age from 18 to 22, completed an online survey which asked them to identify the ideal body of their sport and their current body using a modified version of the Somatomorphic Matrix and complete scales to measure body dissatisfaction. Differences in both body and muscle dissatisfaction were found among sports, with cross country runners reporting the most positive attitudes about their body and the highest muscle satisfaction and football players and wrestlers reporting the most negative attitudes about their body and the lowest muscle satisfaction. It was also found that the societal ideal body had a greater influence on body dissatisfaction, compared to the sport ideal body. The findings of this study will provide clinicians and college athletic departments with additional information on the influences of body dissatisfaction in male athletes, allowing for improved prevention and intervention efforts.



Thesis Comittee

Teresa King (Thesis Director)

Brendan Morse

Ruth Hannon

Melissa Singer

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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