Male Competitive Powerlifters relationship with Body Image: Utilising the Multidimensional Body Image Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ)

Mark Chen, Andrew Richardson

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Abstract

Purpose: There is growing evidence to suggest that competitive male athletes in aesthetic sports that scrutinize their body image may experience undesirable mental health outcomes. However, there is limited research to address these issues in strength sports, particularly the sport of Powerlifting. Methods: This study employed the Multidimensional Body Image Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ), which recruited 365 male participants across the following subgroups. Powerlifters (P) (n = 133), Active Subjects (AS) (n = 79), Appearance Based Sports (ABS) (n = 68), Strength Sports (SS) (n = 47) and Other Sports (OS) (n = 38). Results: One–way ANOVA showed significant (p < 0.05) results between all groups across six of the nine MBSRQ subscales. Post hoc comparisons found nine significant results with the powerlifting group achieving two of them against OS (p < 0.01) and AS (p < 0.01) groups respectively. Conclusions: Overall, the results showed that male powerlifters expressed their bodies-as-function rather than their bodies-as-object with regard to health evaluation (0.34) and fitness orientation (0.33). This is supported by their stable and balanced scores across the MBSRQ subscales which indicates they have healthier and lower perceptions of negative body image concerns. The powerlifters results implied that a focus on objective performance improvement and maintaining a healthy body to prevent injury had body image benefits. Applications in Sport: The study concludes that male powerlifters present healthy body image perceptions compared to the other males in their respective sports and focus on their body functionality objectively rather than the subjective perception and presentation of their body image.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Sports Journal
Volume22
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2024

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