Use of psychoactive substances, body image and characteristics of personality traits in bodybuilders

Beata Pawłowska 1 , Zofia Zaręba 2  and Emilia Potembska 3
  • 1 2 Department of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Medical University of Lublin, Poland
  • 2 Mazovian Centre of Occupational Medicine in Warsaw, Poland
  • 3 Department of Psychiatric Nursing of Medical University of Lublin, Poland

Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of psychoactive substances use as well as the characteristics of body image, self-image, narcissism and stress coping strategies in the group of male professional bodybuilders.

Material and method. The study comprised a group 30 male bodybuilders practising bodybuilding professionally for over 7 years and 30 men who did not practise any sport.

The following research methods were used in the study: Socio-demographic Questionnaire and Eating Disorders and Self-image Survey Questionnaire in Men designed by Pawłowska and Staniewicz, Coping with Stress Questionnaire by Janke, Erdmann, Boucsein, Narcissism Questionnaire by Deneke, Hilgenstock, Müller, Adjective Check List by Gough and Heilbrun in the authorised translation by Płużek.

Results. As compared to the control group, bodybuilders significantly more often use psychoactive agents and have a more negative body image and self-image and show intensified narcissism.

Conclusions: In comparison to the control group:

  1. Significantly more bodybuilders use psychoactive agents: marijuana, amphetamine and ephedrine.
  2. Bodybuilders are characterised by a significantly more negative body image related to the impression of having excessive fat tissue and not sufficient muscle tissue and intensified pursuing to obtain social acceptance.
  3. Bodybuilders are characterised by a significantly more intensified need for dominance, aggression, competitiveness, breaking social rules, being rebellious, impulsive and confrontational.
  4. Bodybuilders are characterised by significantly more intensified narcissistic traits.
  5. Bodybuilders, while in a stressful situation, express compensatory conviction of having better than other people skills to cope with difficulties.

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