Trait Perfectionism, Perfectionistic Self-Presentation, and Muscle Dysmorphia in Male Exercisers: A Structural Equation Modelling Strategy

Michael C. Grugan*, Kieran J. Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perfectionism is positively related to muscle dysmorphia (MD). However, research on this relationship is limited by conceptual and methodological issues (e.g., conceptualising perfectionism as unidimensional, suboptimal analytical techniques, and failing to examine whether perfectionistic self-presentation is also related to MD). To address these issues, we used a structural equation modelling strategy to examine whether dimensions of perfectionistic self-presentation add incrementally to the prediction of MD. A sample of 402 adult males who exercise regularly completed the study. We found that perfectionistic self-promotion, non-display of imperfection, and nondisclosure of imperfection accounted for significant increases in variance explained in MD (ΔR2 = .126 to .192). This means that clinicians and practitioners need to consider not only whether exercisers are motivated by a drive to be perfect (inherent in dimensions of trait perfectionism), but also whether they are motivated by a drive to appear perfect to others (inherent in dimensions of perfectionistic self-presentation).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 Jul 2023

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