Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The present study was designed to gain a better understanding as to some of the possible contributing factors of muscle dysmorphia. Muscle dysmorphia is an under recognized form of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Individuals who are diagnosed with muscle dysmorphia are in reality very large and muscular, but they have a profound fear and belief that they are small and weak. These individuals go to extreme lengths to increase their amount of lean muscle mass. This includes behaviors such as spending hours in the gym, excessive attention to one's diet, and use of steroids or nutritional supplements. These individuals experience extreme anxiety if they are unable to work out or deviate from their diet. To date, what is known about muscle dysmorphia is that it seems to mimic a lot of the same factors as eating disorders. High degrees of perfectionism, less satisfaction with one's body, and negative affect have all shown to contribute to eating disorders in women. It was hypothesized that higher degrees of perfectionism, lower levels of body satisfaction, and higher degrees of negative affect would be indicative of individuals with more symptoms of muscle dysmorphia. Participants completed self-report measures of muscle dysmorphia symptomology (DI), negative affect (PANAS), perfectionism (MPS), and body satisfaction (BA). A stepwise regression was used to determine which factors contributed the most to muscle dysmorphia symptomology. Results indicated that concern over mistakes from the perfectionism scale and upper body strength from the body satisfaction scale were the best predictors of muscle dysmorphia symptomology. These factors contributed to 31% of the variance in muscle dysmorphia symptomology



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