Motives for Appearance-Related Behaviours in Young Men With Different Weight Statuses: A Qualitative Study

Anna Alexandrova-Karamanova


The study explored motivations for appearance-related behaviours in male emerging adults (18-29 years) with different weight statuses. Fifteen in-depth semi-structured interviews with men and 15 interviews with women were conducted. They were analyzed through thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis. Seven out of the fifteen young men were overweight or obese, with this weight status significantly affecting their motivations for appearance-related behaviours. Nine motives have been identified: to be of normal weight (thinner or larger, depending on current weight status); not to be weight-teased by others; to have a beautiful / muscular body (tight, sports body or well-developed physique, muscular body); to be healthy; to feel good; for high self-esteem; so girls like you; to be able to win physical fights (including being physically strong and evoking respect for other men); for (professional) development in sport. The first five motives were related to eating behaviour (special regimen / dieting) and physical activity (sports, physical exercise, and fitness). The motive for having a beautiful / muscular body was also related to excessive physical training and supplements and anabolic steroids use. The other motives were related to sports, fitness, excessive physical training, supplements and anabolic steroids use. The first two motives referred only to overweight and obese men, and the third motive - almost entirely to normal weight men. The motives to be healthy and to feel good were among the most universal (important for men with all kinds of weight statuses). The last 4 motives were related to normal weight status and well-developed muscular physique.

Language: Bulgarian


motives for appearance-related behaviours, young men, weight status, eating and dieting, sports and physical exercise, anabolic steroids, health and emotional well-being

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ISSN: 2193-7281
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