Social physique anxiety and muscularity and appearance cognitions in college men

Jeffrey J. Martin, Amy Kliber, Pamela Kulinna, Mariane Fahlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The purpose of the current study was to examine the ability of appearance related cognitions and muscularity perceptions to predict social physique anxiety (SPA) in male college students (N∈=∈98). Descriptive results indicate that participants experienced moderate SPA, and, in general, had a positive set of body image cognitions. Correlations reveal a large and significant relationship between SPA and appearance evaluation. Multiple regression results indicate that (after controlling for percent body fat and lean body mass) both appearance and muscularity related cognitions account for 60% of the variance in SPA. More specifically, based on the standardized beta weights, appearance evaluation and positive attributes of muscularity make the most significant contributions to predicting SPA. Our findings suggest that the recent heightened attention to the value of muscularity to young men should not cause practitioners or researchers to overlook the value that men place on global appearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalSex Roles
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • Appearance
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Dysmorphia
  • Fat
  • Muscularity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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