Internalization of the athletic-ideal in a female South African student sample




athletic-ideal, body dissatisfaction, eating disturbances, internalization, obsessive exercise, thin-ideal


The investigation into the existence of a thin-ideal internalization has been the focus of research in the past two decades. A clear relationship between this ideal and disturbed eating and body related disturbances was found. Minimal research on the athletic-ideal and relevant outcomes when internalized can be found. This quantitative cross-sectional study explored to what extent student participants from three university campuses (n = 476) have internalized the athletic-ideal and investigated the relationship between this internalization, body dissatisfaction, maladaptive eating and exercise behavior using four online self-report questionnaires. Results found that the athletic-ideal is gaining popularity. Furthermore, significant relationships between athletic-internalization, obligatory exercise and dieting were found, yet yielded a poor relationship with body dissatisfaction. Like other studies, it appears that the athletic-ideal is less detrimental to body dissatisfaction and dieting than the thin-ideal. A stronger association between obligatory exercise was found with the athletic-ideal than with the thin-ideal.




How to Cite

Williams, L., Naidoo, D., & Spies, R. (2023). Internalization of the athletic-ideal in a female South African student sample. Journal of Community Psychosocial Research, 1(1).