Examining the effects of sport and exercise interventions on body image among adolescent girls: A systematic review
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AbstractBody image dissatisfaction among females is suggested to be so widespread, that is has been described as normative discontent. Consequently, there is great interest in the development of interventions that may enhance body image perceptions. The aim of the present systematic review was to investigate the effects of sport and exercise interventions on body image among adolescent females. Following preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines (Higgins & Green, 2009; Petticrew & Roberts, 2005), a search of six electronic databases produced 4,210 records of which six met the inclusion criteria. The methodological quality of included articles was assessed using the Standard Quality Assessment (Kmet, Lee, & Cook, 2004). This yielded a mean score for quality of .90 (SD = 0.22), indicating poor quality of research. In two studies, significant and positive change was observed in body image following intervention (aerobics or self-selected sports activities) in comparison to a control condition. In four studies, no significant effect of intervention on body image was observed. We conclude that there is insufficient evidence to suggest that sport and exercise interventions can improve body image. Furthermore, due to the limitations of existing research highlighted within this review, findings suggesting positive influence should be interpreted with caution. Recommendations for improving the methodological quality of research examining the influence of sport and exercise interventions on body image are proposed. This includes considerations such as participant sampling, control conditions/groups, measurement of key variables, intervention features, and analysis of data.
PublisherUniversity of South Alabama
JournalJournal of Sport Behavior
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