University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

"I just wanted to be Big Dan": Antecedents and Consequences of the Drive for Muscularity in Men

Edwards, Christian ORCID: (2017) "I just wanted to be Big Dan": Antecedents and Consequences of the Drive for Muscularity in Men. PhD thesis, University of Worcester.

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Historically, body image research has focused on females and their dieting and weight loss habits. In comparison, research on men is in its relative infancy. In 2000 McCreary and Sasse proposed the drive for muscularity (DFM) construct representing the desire to increase muscularity levels. In 2010, when I began my studies, there was little knowledge of the processes leading men to experience high levels of DFM or the consequences of this desire. Through the publication of five Outputs, this research portfolio advances knowledge on the antecedents and consequences of the DFM in men. Outputs 1 and 2, respectively, present narrative and systematic reviews of the DFM research area. These reviews identify that internalization of a muscular physique is a key correlate of the DFM. These reviews also highlighted that given the ubiquity of the mesomorphic ideal in present society, it is unclear why men internalize it to different degrees. Driven by Self-Determination Theory, Output 3 examined if the DFM provides an indirect pathway between perceived socio-cultural pressure (i.e., an antecedent to the DFM) and internalization (i.e., a consequence of the DFM) and if autonomy moderates this indirect pathway. Findings reveal that perceived socio-cultural pressure predicted internalization directly and indirectly through the DFM. The indirect path, via DFM, was stronger under higher levels of autonomy. The direct relationship between pressure and internalization was weaker under higher levels of autonomy. To explore DFM consequences, Output 4 examined the role of DFM, internalization, and need thwarting (NT) had in predicting weightlifting, muscle-related worry (MRW), and muscle dissatisfaction (MD) in men. DFM significantly predicted weightlifting, MRW, and MD. Internalization significantly predicted weightlifting and MRW. NT significantly predicted weightlifting and MD. The interaction terms did not predict weightlifting or MRW. The DFM/NT and Internalization/NT interaction terms predicted MD. Collectively these results highlight that: (a) autonomy moderates the relationship DFM has with its antecedents and consequences, and (b) DFM interacts with NT to predict MD. Output 3 and 4 employed quantitative methods and the interaction strengths were not as strong as theory would suggest. Building on these studies, Output 5 extends knowledge by exploring how men story their journeys to high levels of high DFM. By engaging some Bourdieusian concepts, findings reveal how men may tie their autonomy and their basic psychological needs to their views about being a man, being masculine, and gaining/maintaining masculine capital. Outputs are presented in 5 Chapters that identify how this body of work presents an original contribution to knowledge. Chapter 5 discusses an evidence-based synoptic diagram portraying the theoretical interplay between Outputs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: muscularity, Drive For Muscularity, DFM
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Psychology
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Depositing User: Christian Edwards
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2021 12:06
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2021 12:06

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