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Article Review -Body Image

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Article Analysis: Literature Review, Purpose Statement and Hypotheses

The focus of this analysis is to review and critique the literature review, purpose statement and hypothesis of Biceps and Body Image: The Relationship Between Muscularity and Self-Esteem, Depression, and Eating Disorder Symptoms. This study was conducted by Roberto Olivardia, Harrison G. Pope, John J. Borowiecki and Geoffrey H. Cohane.

Literature Review

The researchers who conducted this study argue that there has been minimal research focusing on the body image concerns of men. They argue that despite the recent evidence suggesting an increase in body image problems and associated psychopathology among men, the literature in this area remains very limited (Olivardia et. al 2004). The authors also argue that the existing studies are limited because they only address one or two aspects of body image rather than a comprehensive battery of body image measures. In addition, the authors also mention that very few studies have been conducted to see whether there is a correlation between depression and body image distortions in men.

It seems that the authors of this study have provided a sufficient argument for conducting their research. For the most part their argument is supported due to the lack of previous research focusing on men and body image.

Olivardia et al. (2004) argue that there is an insufficient amount of research focusing on men and body image. If this is the case then how can this study benefit the field of counseling? There seems to be a lack of research that particularly focuses on depression and body dissatisfaction in men. Focusing research on this area may provide results which could have substantial implications in therapeutic interventions with men who exhibit body image disorders and/or depressive disorders (Olivardia et. al 2004). This research could also assist counselors in identifying and treating these disorders. Another area of focus for this study seeks to understand what variables may predict steroid and other performance-enhancing substance use. Studies have shown that the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing substances (PES) have serious physical and psychological side effects (Olivardia et. al 2004). If a counselor has gained the knowledge to identify the specific variables that contribute to steroid and other PES use they could possibly prevent the use from occurring.

In regards to the thoroughness of the article the authors have cited a number of relevant studies. A few of the cited studies were conducted by the same author or authors of this study. However, this may be the result of the minimal research on the topic. The authors have also taken the time to explain some of the previous research and clearly outline their goals for the study. It appears that there could be potential for basis to exist due to the cited research from the authors themselves. However, the authors include an equal share of research from other sources.

The most important concept addressed in this study is body image. In spite of this the authors neglect to include a definition of what body image is and how it relates to males instead of females. The authors partially recover from this overlook later in the literature review when they address how the study examines the importance of muscularity in the overall body image of men. In addition the title of the article indicates that the study will focus on the relationship between muscularity and self-esteem, depression, and eating disorders. However, the literature review excludes any direct reference to self-esteem or eating disorders.

Previous studies are mentioned in the literature review however, the specific methods are not clearly defined. The authors present the results of the other studies which provide the reader with a foundation for their study.

Purpose Statement

Olivardia et al. (2004) conducted a descriptive study using a correlational approach. The purpose of their study was to examine the relationship between muscularity and self-esteem, depression and eating disorders in men. The authors present their intentions in three separate sentences. They first explain that "This study examines the importance of muscularity in the overall body image of men.", next they state that the study tests for the associate between depression and body dissatisfaction or body image distortions in men. Finally they conclude by stating that "This study seeks to understand what variables may predict steroid and other performance-enhancing substance use". Overall the authors appear to show a clear connection between the literature review and their intended purpose of the study. However, the final statement, regarding performance-enhancing substances, is the first time the reader is introduced to this aspect of the study. There is no connection between this purpose statement and the literature review.

The authors provide many descriptive words to depict the study type to the readers. The title of the study includes the word relationship which clearly describes the intentions of the study. The authors also use the words association and examine in their purpose statements. It is definitely clear that the researchers conducted a descriptive study using a correlational approach.

The variables of interests for this particular study are body image and muscularity. The researchers are interested in determining the relationship between those variables and their association with depression, self-esteem and eating disorder symptoms. The variables are not specifically defined within the purpose statements or literature review. The authors are assuming that the reader is familiar with the terms such as body image disorder and depressive disorders.

Defining the target population for the research study is an



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