School of Physical Education & Sports Science in Serres, Faculty of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Body image is a significant well-being factor in puberty. Negative body image is related to low self-esteem, depression and eating disorders. Body dissatisfaction implies dislike of a person’s body or certain parts of it. It is considered a dynamic situation that can cause powerful emotional, perceptual and psychological reactions. Biological factors (e.g., age, body weight, sex) and environmental conditions (e.g., physical exercise, sports, advertisements, social standards) seem to stand as risk factors for its manifestation in puberty. The purpose of this study was to explore if the type of specific team sports contributes to the manifestation of body dissatisfaction and motivates teen-age girls, with normal body mass index, to lose weight. For the purpose of this study three subscales were employed: “Body Dissatisfaction and Motivation for Body Weight Loss of the EDI-3 for children” (Garner, 2004) and “ΕAT-26 for children” (Garner & Garfinkel, 1982), as well as a questionnaire concerning demographics. A sample of 494 Greek girls, between 1214 years old, participated in this study (102 of basketball, 99 of volleyball, 100 of handball, 101 of soccer and 92 as control group). No statistically significant differences were found between the teen-age athletes and none athletes regarding all factors. It seems that the type of these sports is not a differentiating factor for body dissatisfaction and motivation for weight loss in both teen-age female athletes and non-athletes with normal BMI. Two significant aspects may explain this non-differentiation: first, appearance may not be a contributing factor for the enhancement of the performance in this kind of sports and second the study was carried out at the end of the competitive season.
Keywords:body dissatisfaction; team sports; girls; normal body weight; body image.