Male Body Image: Satisfaction and Its Relationship to Well-Being Using the Somatomorphic Matrix

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In light of the increased recent research attention directed tothe study of male body image (e.g., Pope, Phillips, & Olivardia,2000), the somatomorphic matrix (Gruber, Pope,Borowiecki, & Cohane, 1999) was investigated in a sample of60 male students from a Midwestern college. Significantmuscle and body fat dissatisfaction was found. Contrary topast research with the somatomorphic matrix, bi-directionalbody fat dissatisfaction was noted, with approximately twothirdsof the participants desiring less body fat and a thirddesiring more body fat. Muscle dissatisfaction was significantlyassociated with higher depression, lower self-esteem,and less satisfaction with life. Body fat dissatisfaction was notsignificantly associated with any of the assessed dimensionsof psychological functioning. These data indicate that muscularityconcerns of college men are significantly related to psychologicalfunctioning, suggesting that this dimension ofbody attitudes plays a significant role in men’s self-concept.

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International Journal of Men’s Health, v. 1, no. 2, p. 215-231