The Cognitive Behavioral Hypothesis
This suggests that a change in behaviour changes how we think about ourselves (cognition). Increased self efficacy acts to reduce negative mood states, deperssion or anxiety.
- Landers & Craft (1998), conducted meta analysis of the effects of exercise on clinical depression. They found that exercise was as effective as psychotherapy or drug therapy and that cronic exercise was more effective than acute exercise in reducing symptoms of depression. This supports the CBT hypothesis as exercise is alleviating the symptoms and like CBT it is presumed that improvement is gradual and takes time.
- Bodin & Martinsen (2004) measured mood and self efficacy in clinically depressed patients finding that only patients given the chance to learn a new skill demonstrated an increase in self efficancy and significantly more positive mood status. This supports the CBT hypothesis as the new skill learnt has improved their state of depression suggesting that improvement in something new can change the way people think about themselves. However, the improvement could be due to participating within a group.
The Social Interaction Hypothesis
This suggests that the social interaction associated with many exercise regimes has a positive effect on well being.
- Turner et al (1990), studied ballet dancers in both socially and non socially enriched environments and found that the dancers in the socially enriched condition demonstrated greater self efficacy. This suggests that social interaction increases self efficacy supporting social interaction. it also suggests that is a social group is delivering a motivation climate then that too may help self efficacy. However, the improvement levels achieved depend on the group participating which suggests Turner et als results cannot be generalised to other groups in society.
- However, North et al (1990), contradicts Turner et al. He found that exercise is a better antidepressant that relaxation or other activities that participants find enjoyable. This suggests that it is the participation in exercise, rather than the fact that exercise, that has a positive effect on a persons self efficacy refuting social interaction.
Structured Exercise Participation
It has been suggested that there is a relationship between exercise participation and three components of mental well-being (physical self, work-related, and global)
- Fox et al (2004) found a direct link between exercise and increases to self efficacy. They also found that there were indirect links between exercise and global well-being and a decrease in stress levels. This suggests that exercise is directly and indirectly associated with high well being and improved performance in everyday activities. This builds on previous research examining association between exercise and well being.
Sports Physique Anxiety
It has been suggested that participating in sports that involve wearing clothes that reveal the figure can lead to the onset of eating disorders and body disfigurement disorders.
- Gammage et al (2004) observed women in two stress level environments and found that there was more sports physique anxiety (SPA) in the high stress condition. This suggests that activities in which body shape is obvious increases SPA. However, the high levels of anxiety may be due to the fact that they are being watched, and not the presence of form fitting clothes.
Cases of athletes, such as Christy Henrich who was an Olympic gymnast who died weighing 47lbs, developing eating disorders are rare but sub-clinical eating disorders such as anorexia athletica (fear of obesity amongst female athletes) may be a genuine concern with estimates of sub-clinical eating disorders ranging 1 - 57% of athletes.
- Hausenblaus & Carron (1999), conducted a meta analysis of 92 studies on SPA. They found that athletes were more likely to have disordered eating symptoms than non-athletes and that athletes in high SPA sports (gymnastics, diving etc.) were more likely to have disordered eating than athletes in other sports. This suggests that females in sport have an increased risk of developing disordered eating. It also suggests that sports that involve form fitting clothes are more at risk of disordered eating due to high SPA. This is strong evidence for SPA as meta analysis has high reliability.
- Cognitive behavioral hypothesis
- Landers & Craft
- Bodin & Martinsen
- Social Interaction Hypothesis
- Turner et al
- North et al
- Sport Physique Anxiety
- Gammage et al
- Christy Henrich
- Hausenblaus & Carron
- Structured Exercise Participation
- Fox et al