Physical Activity Interventions Targeting Perceived Body Image Among Adolescent Girls

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Journal of Physical Education and Sport





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Background: regular exercise is associated with increased body image; however, several barriers have hindered physical activity participation among adolescent girls and the gender disparity persists through adulthood. The study aimed to review the impact of physical activity interventions on adolescent girls' body image and discuss implications for reducing the disparity. Methods: the articles were systematically searched and reviewed from Web of Science (including MEDLINE) and EBSCOHOST (including Academic Search Premier, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, Education Resource Information Center (ERIC), APA PsycInfo, and SPORTDiscus) databases. Inclusion criteria were studies that: (a) implemented physical activity components, (b) targeted girls aged 10-19 years, (c) measured body image as an outcome, (d) were published in peer-reviewed journals after 2007, (e) and were in the English language. The PRISMA standards were followed to identify included interventions. Results: a total of eight interventions met the inclusion criteria. There were four interventions that employed the randomized controlled trial design. Only one study included long-term follow-up data after interventions while the Physical Self-Perception Profile was the only measure used across different included interventions. Fitness-based physical activity (n = 5) was the most common component reported. The majority of included interventions were implemented in the school settings. Two interventions were designed and delivered specifically to adolescent girls who were residing in low-income families or enrolled in schools situated in culturally diverse areas. In terms of efficacy, a total of seven interventions demonstrated an improvement in participants' body image. Conclusions: it can be concluded that physical activity-based intervention seems to be a promising strategy for improving adolescent girls' perceived body image; yet, further studies utilizing rigorous research designs are warranted.


Body satisfaction; Physical self-perception; Sports; Exercise


Medicine and Health Sciences | Sports Sciences



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