Baxter-Cox, Liberty (2019) Using mixed methods to explore Muscle Dysmorphia related symptomology in a male gym going population; ‘I’ve tried all sorts to get bigger’. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Male body image was identified over twenty years ago as a growing research interest (Pope, Gruber, Choi, Olivardia, & Phillips, 1997). Tod, Edwards and Cranswick (2016) identify a more recent specific interest in Muscle Dysmorphia (MD), a branch of Body Dysmorphia (BD). A symptom characteristic of MD is the preoccupation with a perceived lack of muscularity (Grieve, 2007) which often involves those with high levels of the disorder engaging in obsessive eating and exercise patterns (Grieve, 2007). Using a mixed methods approach, the present study aimed to build on the limited, existing research surrounding male body image with a focus on muscle dysmorphia related symptoms. A self-selected sample of 100 male gym members from the North of England, participated in the quantitative element of the study. They completed a background data questionnaire and Hildebrandt, Langenbucher, and Schlundt’s (2004) Muscle Dysmorphia Disorder Inventory (MDDI). The first section collected participant demographics, experience with training diet and body building. The variables were examined in relation to their effect on MDDI scores and its three subscales; Functional Impairment, Appearance Intolerance and Drive For Size. Experience of dieting was found to have a significant effect on Functional Impairment (p=0.01), Length of Training Experience was found to have a significant effect on Drive for Size and Appearance Intolerance (p= 0.04, p= 0.01) and Age was found to have a significant effect on Drive For Size (p= 0.01). Five of the 100 participants formed a purposive sample which was used to conduct semi structured interviews in the qualitative element of the study. Braun and Clarke’s (2006) Thematic analysis was used to analyse the interview transcripts. The qualitative findings emphasise the need for future research into development and maintenance models of MD symptomology and further measures of MD.

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