Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Diana Rancourt, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jamie Goldenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vicky Phares, Ph.D.


fitness, health, psychometrics, body image, disordered eating


Exercise rooted in changing one’s appearance is associated with increased disordered eating and body image pathology. There are a limited number of scales assessing appearance-based exercise, and those that do are methodologically flawed. The aim of the current work was to develop a psychometrically sound measure of appearance-based exercise (Exercise Appearance Motivations Scale (EAMS)). Female undergraduate students (N = 650) completed an online survey designed to assess the EAMS’ psychometric properties. Factor analysis and hierarchical regressions were used for measure development and validation. Five factors of the EAMS were identified through factor analysis: muscularity, appearance, societal pressures, shape/weight, and avoidance/shame. Pearson product moment correlations were used to examine the associations between the EAMS and scales assessing convergent validity (appearance comparison, disordered eating, appearance evaluation, internalization of body ideals) and discriminant validity (belief in a just world). Results indicated that Cronbach’s alpha (α = .94) and test-retest reliability coefficients (r = .77) were adequate. The EAMS demonstrated adequate construct and incremental validity. These results provide preliminary evidence that the EAMS scale is a reliable and valid measure of appearance-based motives of exercise behavior when used with undergraduate women. Implications, limitations, and future research ideas are discussed.