Self-Perceived Real And Ideal Body Shapes And Their Association With Attitudes Toward Obese Children Among Preadolescent Swimmers

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Coşkun Özyol F.

IJETSAR (International Journal of Education Technology and Scientific Researches), vol.5, no.11, pp.303-314, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


The purpose of this study was to examine self-perceived real and ideal body shapes of preadolescent swimmers and how they relate to their attitudes toward obese peers. The study sample consisted of 160 female (xage ̄ = 11.46±.59, range: 11-12 years) and 146 male (xage ̄ = 11.53±.50, range: 11-12 years) competitive swimmers aged 11-12. Data concerning self-perceived real and ideal body shapes were collected using Collins’ “Body Figure Perceptions Scale”, while attitudes toward obese peers were evaluated using the “Attitudes toward Obese Children Scale (AOCS)”.There were no significant differences between the female and male participants with respect to self-perceived ideal body shape [U= 10675.5, p> .05], BMI [U= 10757.50, p> .05] and attitudes toward obese peers [U= 11408.0, p> .05]. However, the self-perceived real body shape of the female swimmers was significantly larger than that of the males [U= 8848.0, p<.05]. Both male and female participants showed moderately positive attitudes toward their obese peers. Of the female participants, 29% rated their real body shape as significantly larger than their ideal physique, while there was no significant difference between the self-perceived real and ideal body shapes of the males. There was a statistically significant strong positive correlation between female participants’ real body shape and BMI (rs= .50, n=160, p= .001) and a medium positive correlation between those of the males (rs= .49, n=146, p= .001). Male swimmers’ BMI was negatively correlated with their AOCS scores (rs= -.17, n=146, p= .04). The attitudes of Turkish preadolescent swimmers toward their obese peers were moderately positive and did not correlate with their body shape perceptions, except for the finding of a negative correlation between the male participants’ BMI and AOCS scores.

Keywords: Body shape, body image, ideal body shape, swimmer, obesity, fatphobia.