Repository logo

Narcissism, physical self-efficacy and exercise addiction : a comparative study of runners and aerobics exercisers.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Narcissism and physical self-efficacy and exercise commitment were investigated in 'addicted' and 'non-addicted' runners (n = 112) and aerobics exercisers (n = 57) and compared to a control group of non-exercisers (n = 42). Runners and aerobics exercisers were assigned to an 'addicted' or 'non-addicted' group using Hailey and Bailey's (1982) Negative Addiction Scale. All subjects completed biographical questionnaires, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) and the Physical Self-Efficacy Scale (PSE). Although both narcissism and physical self-efficacy were found to play a significant role in exercise adoption, narciss\ism was the only significant variable when comparing 'addicted' and 'non-addicted' exercisers. Differences between the runners and aerobics exercisers were found with the aerobics exercisers exhibiting higher narcissistic tendencies than the runners. The runners were assigned to one of four quadrants based on their level of commitment and addiction to running and the Perceived Physical Ability subscale of the PSE and the Self-Sufficiency subscale of the NPI produced significant differences between the four quadrants. Taken together, the results suggest that addicted exercisers have the tendency to exhibit narcissistic traits, however the interaction with physical self-efficacy is equivocal. The findings are discussed with reference to relevant personality theory and implications for future research in this area.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 1997.


Exercise addiction., Sports--Psychological aspects., Aerobic exercises--Psychological aspects., Running--Psychological aspects., Narcissism., Addicts., Theses--Psychology.