Generational differences in men’s drive for muscularity and reliance on body-image for self-worth

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Owen, Shane
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The current study explored generational differences in drive for muscularity (DM) and body apperception. Excessive DM is correlated with mental and physical health risks. Previous research indicated the need to identify vulnerable demographics in order to better direct supports. This study adds to that undertaking by examining age and reliance on body image in order to see if they impact on DM. A convenience sample of 149 men from two age groups, 18-30 (N=81) and 45-60 (N=68) years old were recruited. Participants completed a questionnaire on attitudinal and behavioural measures of DM, and a measure of reliance on body image as a source of self-worth (MBA). Results: Younger males exhibited higher muscularity-related attitudes and behaviours; however, both groups displayed similar MBA scores. Further analysis, controlling for aspects of body image which may impact DM, showed that age itself appears to be a factor in DM. Author keywords: Body image, muscularity, male body image, body apperception, drive for muscularity