Paternal influences on drive for muscularity among adolescent males: Drive for muscularity, focus on weight, and praise for athleticism Open Access
Downloadable ContentDownload PDF
Drive for muscularity reflects an individual's perception that he or she is not muscular enough and needs to gain muscle mass (McCreary & Sasse, 2000). Recent studies suggest drive for muscularity is higher among athletes than non-athletes and is associated with: use of performance enhancing substances, dieting, depression, and low self-esteem among adolescent males (McCreary & Sasse, 2000). Despite the role that drive for muscularity may play in the health and well-being of adolescent males, limited literature has examined the predictors of drive for muscularity in adolescent males. The present study investigated how fathers' own drive for muscularity, focus on weight, and praise for athleticism influence their sons' drive for muscularity. Social Learning Theory was the theoretical framework used to identify the mechanism for explaining how fathers influence sons' drive for muscularity. Participants included 101 father-son dyads recruited from high school and recreational athletic teams. Fathers completed questionnaires assessing their drive for muscularity, focus on weight, and praise for their sons' athleticism. Sons completed questionnaires assessing their drive for muscularity, perceptions of their fathers' behaviors, desire for athleticism, and perceived importance of the muscular ideal. Results suggested that sons' perceptions of their fathers' drive for muscularity and praise for athleticism influenced sons' drive for muscularity. A relationship between fathers' focus on weight and sons' drive for muscularity was not supported.