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Title: Body image in male body-builders : a qualitative investigation
Authors: MacDougall, Andrew
Award date: 2003
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: There is evidence that men are experiencing body image dissatisfaction in growing numbers. The term muscle dysmorphia has been used to describe one expression of extreme body image distress and is thought to be particularly prevalent in male body-builders. This study aimed to explore male body-builders understanding and experiences of their body image. A grounded theory methodology was used, situated within a contextual constructionist epistemology. Five male body-builders were interviewed and the transcripts analysed. Control emerged as the core concept, expressing participants' feelings of control loss and attempts to mediate this. Four higher order categories emerged as areas where issues of control were most obvious self-image gym culture social pressures and health beliefs and behaviours. A model of the relationships between the categories and control was developed. Feelings of uncertainty about self in relation to body image were evident. Mediation occurred through attempts to control the social environment leading to further immersion within the gym culture. Nutritional beliefs and diet behaviours were another way in which the participants' attempted to exert control over their body image. Implications for clinical practice were discussed, with particular emphasis on men presenting to services expressing distress about their body image in relation to body fat and physique. Recommendations for future research were made and limitations of the study were discussed.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: DClinPsy
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Psychology
Leicester Theses

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