Body perceptions and motivation in rhythmic gymnastics in South Korea

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bona Lee (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Diane Gill

Abstract: Previous research in the field of aesthetic sports such as gymnastics, figure skating and dance, indicates that athletes in these disciplines experience more body dissatisfaction and higher weight concerns than participants in other sports. Studies also show that while intrinsic motivation (e.g., enjoyment of physical activity) can increase participation in the long term, extreme appearance orientation may decrease intrinsic motivation, promoting pressure and amotivation. The purpose of this research is to explore body perceptions and motivation in rhythmic gymnastics. There are two main questions in the study. First, how do rhythmic gymnasts perceive the importance of body appearance (e.g., physical size or shape) in the sport? Second, what motivates rhythmic gymnasts to participate in the sport, and what leads them to stop participating? Specifically, this research utilized a culturally specific population to understand the subject by examining the body ideals and motivation of female college rhythmic gymnasts in South Korea. This research supports that fulfilling the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness can promote motivation in sports. This research also indicates that a sport’s focus on appearance and weight control can decrease motivation for participation in that sport. Appearance is very important in rhythmic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnasts use a variety of weight management techniques to maintain body appearance and thinness. Appearance is related to extrinsic motivation in rhythmic gymnastics, and extrinsic motivation can discourage motivation in sports. So, this research suggests that sports and exercise programs should encourage intrinsic motivation rather than extrinsic motivation (e.g. the appearance and weight motive) for continued participation and long term adherence in sports.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Body Image, Motivation, Rhythmic Gymnastics
Women gymnasts $z Korea (South) $x Psychology
Sports $z Korea (South) $x Psychological aspects
Body image in women $z Korea (South)
Rhythmic gymnastics $z Korea (South)

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