Poster Title

Personal Standards but not Maladaptive Evaluative Concerns Perfectionism Predict Exercise Dependency Over Time

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology

Minor

Biology, Spanish

Institution

University of Louisville

KY House District #

63

KY Senate District #

23

Department

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Abstract

Exercise is generally thought to be beneficial for physical and mental health; however, when done in excess, exercise can lead to damaging physical, psychological, and social health consequences. This type of exercise is known as exercise dependency and is frequently associated with eating disorder pathology. Perfectionism (high or personal standards and maladaptive evaluative concerns) is a risk factor for eating disorders and is also associated with exercise dependency. However, no studies have examined longitudinal relationships between perfectionism and exercise dependency. The current study used a sample of adolescent females (N = 444) from a Southeastern United States high school, and participants completed measures of eating disorder symptomology, perfectionism, and exercise dependency at baseline and one-month time points. Multiple regression analysis was conducted. Cross-sectionally, both high standards, and evaluative concerns perfectionism were associated with exercise dependency. In the longitudinal model, only personal standards perfectionism was a predictor of exercise dependency symptoms. The results suggest that while personal standards perfectionism is widely considered adaptive, it may be a contributing factor to later development of exercise dependency. Consistent with past research, this suggests that criticizing oneself for not meeting high standards may contribute to maladaptive patterns of exercise. By understanding the factors contributing to exercise dependency, health and fitness professionals can screen for perfectionism in sports to identify athletes at risk for later development of exercise dependency. Additionally, this relationship suggests personal standards perfectionism could serve as a potential target for intervention to prevent the development of exercise dependency in adolescent females.

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Personal Standards but not Maladaptive Evaluative Concerns Perfectionism Predict Exercise Dependency Over Time

Exercise is generally thought to be beneficial for physical and mental health; however, when done in excess, exercise can lead to damaging physical, psychological, and social health consequences. This type of exercise is known as exercise dependency and is frequently associated with eating disorder pathology. Perfectionism (high or personal standards and maladaptive evaluative concerns) is a risk factor for eating disorders and is also associated with exercise dependency. However, no studies have examined longitudinal relationships between perfectionism and exercise dependency. The current study used a sample of adolescent females (N = 444) from a Southeastern United States high school, and participants completed measures of eating disorder symptomology, perfectionism, and exercise dependency at baseline and one-month time points. Multiple regression analysis was conducted. Cross-sectionally, both high standards, and evaluative concerns perfectionism were associated with exercise dependency. In the longitudinal model, only personal standards perfectionism was a predictor of exercise dependency symptoms. The results suggest that while personal standards perfectionism is widely considered adaptive, it may be a contributing factor to later development of exercise dependency. Consistent with past research, this suggests that criticizing oneself for not meeting high standards may contribute to maladaptive patterns of exercise. By understanding the factors contributing to exercise dependency, health and fitness professionals can screen for perfectionism in sports to identify athletes at risk for later development of exercise dependency. Additionally, this relationship suggests personal standards perfectionism could serve as a potential target for intervention to prevent the development of exercise dependency in adolescent females.