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

Michael C. Grugan*, Kieran J. Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

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Perfectionism is positively related to muscle dysmorphia (MD). However, research on this relationship is limited by conceptual and methodological issues (e.g., conceptualizing 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 modeling 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, nondisplay of imperfection, and nondisclosure of imperfection accounted for significant increases in variance explained in MD (ΔR2 = .126–.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
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Early online date9 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Nov 2023

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