The direct effects of manipulating body checking in men

D. Catherine Walker*, Andrea D. Murray, Jason M. Lavender, Drew A. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The purpose of the current study was to examine how body checking affects men's state body image and state muscle dissatisfaction using an experimental design. Male undergraduates (N= 234) were randomly assigned to a high body checking group, in which they were asked to focus their attention on typically disliked body parts, and a low body checking group, in which they were asked to focus on their bodies as a whole and describe themselves using neutral, nonjudgmental terms. Contrary to initial hypotheses, regardless of condition, participants' body image satisfaction decreased significantly following the body checking procedure and did not change significantly after a 10-min delay. Additionally, in both conditions, participants' muscle dissatisfaction did not immediately change, but muscle dissatisfaction increased significantly following the 10-min delay. One mirror exposure session had similar effects on men's body image and muscle dissatisfaction regardless of how they were asked to examine their bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-468
Number of pages7
JournalBody Image
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Body checking
  • Body image dissatisfaction
  • Male body image
  • Mirror exposure
  • Muscle dissatisfaction


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