The effect of participation in an aerobic dance exercise program on body satisfaction in normal adolescent females.
Uys, Debbie Caron.
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To determine the effect of participation in an aerobic dance exercise program on body satisfaction and perceived physical fitness, the Body Esteem Scale (Franzoi & Shields, 1984) and the Perceived Physical Fitness Scale (Abadie, 1988) were administered to an experimental, comparison and control group of adolescent females. The experimental group (n = 19) attended aerobic dance classes for an hour, three times per week for 4 weeks. The comparison group (n = 20) watched an exercise video for half an hour, twice per week for 4 weeks. The control group (n = 20) were instructed to continue exercising as usual and received no intervention. The three groups were matched at pretest for age, height, weight, body mass index, body satisfaction, perceived physical fitness and number of hours of exercise per week that they participated in. A post assessment was made after 4 weeks when the intervention was complete and a follow-up assessment was made 11 weeks after the intervention was completed. A two-way univariate ANOV A with repeated measures on the time factor revealed no significant differences between the experimental, comparison or control groups regarding body satisfaction and perceived physical fitness although trends in the desired direction were evident. A strong positive correlation was found between body satisfaction for all the subjects at posttest and perceived physical fitness at posttest (p < 0,01), and between body satisfaction at follow-up and perceived physical fitness at follow-up (p < 0,001). The results of this study suggest that while the effects of participation in aerobic dance classes did not result in any significant findings, trends were evident and thus future research in this area which takes into account the limitations of this study is warranted. This study offers hope of exercise as an intervention to augment the cognitive-behavioural treatment of body dissatisfaction.