Effects of a five-week aerobic exercise class on the body image of adolescent girls
This study examined the effects of a five-week high-intensity, low-impact aerobic exercise program on the body image of adolescent girls. This was assessed by using a general information questionnaire, three physical measurements, and three written body-image measures which were the Body Cathexis Scale, Eating Disorders Inventory, and Multi-dimensional Body-self Relations Questionnaire. The study involved thirty-three girls from a private girls' school in Maryland. The research methodology utilized in this study was a pre- and post-test design, involving volunteer participants. The results of the study did not support the hypothesis; however, there appear to be three primary reasons for this. These reasons include the length and type of intervention, reactance effect, and physical and psychological changes occurring during adolescence. Confusion about one's body is especially apparent during adolescence, a time when so many physical and psychological changes are taking place, all of which the individual must incorporate into an evolving body image. Additional research is needed in the area of the effects of exercise on both body image and adolescent girls.