Exercise identity as a risk factor for exercise dependence

Aja L. Murray*, Karen McKenzie, Emily Newman, Erin Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objectives The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between exercise identity and exercise dependence. We hypothesized that stronger exercise identities would be associated with greater odds of experiencing exercise dependence symptoms.

Design Logistic regression was used to assess the extent of association between exercise identity and the risk of experiencing exercise dependence symptoms.

Method Participants (101) were recruited online via sports clubs and social networking sites and were asked to complete online measures of exercise identity and exercise dependence.

Results The overall model fit was a significant improvement on the baseline model, but only the exercise beliefs factor was significantly associated with the odds of dependence symptoms, with higher scores on the belief scale predicting greater odds of experiencing dependence symptoms. Exercise role identity, in contrast, was not significantly associated with odds of experiencing dependence symptoms. Per cent correct classification was 55.9% for asymptomatic and 88.2% for symptomatic individuals and the overall per cent correct classification was 77.5%.

Conclusions The relation between identity and dependence could represent both a fruitful research avenue and a potential therapeutic target for those experiencing dependence symptoms; although our findings only showed a relationship between one of the two factors of the exercise identity measure and dependence. Longitudinal research is required to examine the relationship between identity and dependence in the context of other variables to better understand why some individuals become exercise dependent whereas others do not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-382
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Health Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • FIT


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