2016, Volume 8, Issue 2

Dependence between body image and motivation in a group of professional swimmers and track-athletes

Aleksandra Budzisz1, Monika Nawrocka1

1The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice

Author for correspondence: Aleksandra Budzisz; The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education in Katowice; email: Aleksandra@budzisz.com

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Background: The human body may be investigated on a variety of levels. This paper deals with the issue of self-perception of the body by sportsmen and motivation strategies they use. The aim of the study was twofold: firstly, to determine whether the sports discipline affects satisfaction with one’s own body and the level of motivation; and secondly, to establish if the type of sports motivation is dependent on the body image.

Material and methods: The subject group comprised athletes (n = 42) and swimmers (n = 35). The subjects completed questionnaires. The research tools included the Body Esteem Scale (BES) by Franzoi & Shields and the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ) by Gill and Dieter.

Results: The results were analysed separately for each gender (according to the applied tool (BES)). Significant differences in self-perception of the body occurred in males in terms of the sports discipline, and the athletes perceived themselves better (Physical attractiveness [p < 0.01; F(8,33)] Body strength [p < 0.05; F(4,17)] Physical condition [p < 0.02; F(5,63)]). The differences did not occur in the female group. The same applies to the whole study group in terms of the level of motivation. Regression analysis demonstrated that the body image was a significantly independent variable in the case of motivation focused on the aim (females [the sexual attractiveness subscale] β = 0.46; males [the physical condition subscale] β = 0.35).

In terms of the sports discipline, there are significant differences in satisfaction with the body; however, they occur only among males. The subject athletes expressed greater satisfaction with their bodies.

Conclusions: The body image, perceived among female subjects as an object (also sexual), affects the level of sports motivation focused on the aim. For males, the aspect of body capability, i.e. physical condition, is the factor responsible for an increase in the motivation focused on the aim.

Key words: body image, body esteem, sport, motivation, aim, winning