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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Kinesiology, Sport and Exercise Psychology Option

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Keeler, Linda

Second Advisor

Arthur-Cameselle, Jessyca

Third Advisor

Bennett, Steve, (Professor)


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships and predictability of ethnic identity, race/ethnicity, and gender identity of social physique anxiety (SPA) in exercisers. Random stratified sampling of two popular exercise chains in the U.S. and snowball sampling resulted in 1,765 regular exerciser participants, including nine different races/ethnicities and eight gender identities. There was a small, negative correlation between SPA and total ethnic identity for the entire sample (rs = -.063, p= .008). For White/European American exercisers, there was a small, negative correlation (rs = -.093, p = .001), and for Black/African American exercisers there was a moderate, negative correlation (rs = -.309, p = .026). There were no other statistically significant correlations between other race/ethnicity groups or mean differences in SPA between racial/ethnic groups. When investigating the predictive value of gender identity and total ethnic identity on SPA, the model was statistically significant [R2 = .010, F (3, 1754) = 5.737, p = .001] and explained 1% of the variance in SPA. There was a unique contribution from total ethnic identity and cisgender women towards SPA, yet both were small. Additional exploratory analyses included testing for differences in ethnic identity between racial/ethnic groups, differences in SPA between genders, and correlations between age and SPA. It appears that there are no large differences in SPA among exercisers when grouped by race/ethnicity or gender, but there may be differences in relationships between SPA and ethnic identity for Black/African American exercisers compared to other racial/ethnic identities.




social physique anxiety, ethnic identity, gender identity, exercise, physical activity, body image, body dissatisfaction


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Body image--Social aspects; Human body--Social aspects; Physical fitness--Psychological aspects; Exercise--Psychological aspects; Body image in women; Body image in men




masters theses




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