Background: This study was conducted to determine the extent to which participation in a weight training intervention was associated with changes in the emotional well-being and body image of females compared to non-weight trainers. An ancillary objective was to study the extent to which psychological, physical, and demographic factors accounted for changes in emotional well-being and body image.
Methods: The experimental group consisted of 60 females, and a comparison group was comprised of 92 females. Experimental subjects participated in a 15-week, two-day-per-week weight training intervention, while subjects in the comparison group did not participate in any weight training activities. Subjects were pre- and posttested on the General Well-Being Schedule and the Body Cathexis Scale. Experimental subjects were also tested in muscular strength and three skinfold measurements.
Results: With pretest scores controlled, the weight trainers had significantly higher General Well-Being and Body Cathexis posttest scores than the comparison group. Weight trainers also showed significant increases in muscular strength, and significant decreases in skinfold thickness. Four variables predicted 38.8% of the variance of those who improved most in General Well-Being: lower pretest General Well-Being, lower parental income, greater loss of body weight, and lower posttest skinfold. Five variables predicted 61.5% of the variance of those women who improved most in Body Cathexis: lower pretest Body Cathexis, greater body weight at the outset, shorter in height, less involvement in non-weight training exercise, and lower posttest skinfold.
Discussion: (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)