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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effects of a body awareness exercise program on body concept, self concept and body composition of inactive obese and non-obese young women Bouchard, Leonne Mary Fernandine

Abstract

The main problem was to study the effects of a 10 week body awareness exercise program on body concept, self concept and body composition change in inactive obese and non-obese young women as stated in Hypotheses One, Two and Three respectively. The subproblem was to examine the relationships among body concept, self concept, body composition and body composition change in inactive obese and non-obese young women. Hypothesis Four stated that inactive obese young women have a lower body concept than their non-obese counterpart. Hypothesis Five stated that the degree of change in body concept is proportional to the amount of change in body composition over the 10 week exercise program. Data was obtained from 50 subjects who were female students between the ages of 17 and 25 years, living in Place Vanier and Totem Park Residences at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia. The treatment group participated in a 10 week body awareness exercise program for a minimum of three half-hour sessions a week, and was composed of 15 non-obese and 10 obese subjects. The control group was also composed of the same number of subjects but did not participate in the program. A 2x2x2 factoral design with repeated measures on the third factor was employed. The independent variables were treatment, size and time. Subjects were pre and posttested for the following five dependent variables: Body Cathexis. Physical Self, Self Cathexis, Total Self Concept, and Percent Body Fat. Instruments used were: the Secourd-Jourard Body Cathexis-Self Cathexis Scales, the Tennessee Self Concept Scale and the Yuhasz method for determining percent body fat. Hypotheses One, Two and Three which stated that the use of the exercise program causes a positive change in body concept, self concept and body composition respectively, were analyzed using the ANOVA. Hypothesis One was not accepted (Body Cathexis change, p = .61; Physical Self change, p = .07); Hypothesis Two was not accepted (Self Cathexis change, p = .18; Total Self Concept change, p = .06); Hypothesi Three was accepted (Percent Body Fat change, p = .01). A correlation matrix on all dependent variables (pretest scores) indicated no significant relationship, existed among these variables. Hypothesis Four was not accepted since the preplanned orthoganal comparision indicated no significant difference between obese and non-obese subjects Hypothesis Five was not accepted since the correlation coefficients indicated that no significant correlation existed between body concept change scores and body composition change scores, although a trend was noted. Within the limitations and delimitations of the sample population, experimental procedures utilized and statistical analyses performed, it was concluded that: (a) the program did not have a significant positive effect on body concept and self concept (however, the scores obtained from the Tennessee Self Concept Scale approached significance), (b) the program had a significant positive effect on body composition, (c) there were no significant relationships among body concept, self concept, body composition and body composition change in inactive obese and non-obese young women.

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