'I just feel so guilty': the role of introjected regulation in linking appearance goals for exercise with women’s body image

Hurst, Megan, Dittmar, Helga, Banerjee, Robin and Bond, Rod (2017) 'I just feel so guilty': the role of introjected regulation in linking appearance goals for exercise with women’s body image. Body Image, 20. pp. 120-129. ISSN 1740-1445

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Abstract

Appearance goals for exercise are consistently associated with negative body image, but research has yet to consider the processes that link these two variables. Self-determination theory offers one such process: introjected (guilt-based) regulation of exercise behavior. Study 1 investigated these relationships within a cross-sectional sample of female UK students (n = 215, 17-30 years). Appearance goals were indirectly, negatively associated with body image due to links with introjected regulation. Study 2 experimentally tested this pathway, manipulating guilt relating to exercise and appearance goals independently and assessing post-test guilt and body anxiety (n = 165, 18-27 years). The guilt manipulation significantly increased post-test feelings of guilt, and these increases were associated with increased post-test body anxiety, but only for participants in the guilt condition. The implications of these findings for self-determination theory and the importance of guilt for the body image literature are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: exercise regulation; exercise goals; self-determination theory; guilt; body anxiety; body appreciation
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QZ Psychology
Depositing User: Megan Hurst
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2017 10:26
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2017 01:42
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66007

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