Construct validation of a state version of the Social Physique Anxiety Scale among young women
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This study examined the validity of a state version of the Social Physique Anxiety Scale (Hart, Leary & Rejeski, 1989) by conducting tests of concurrent and discriminative validation. Participants were four separate samples of young women (N=221) who exercised ≤ 2 days/week and who participated in various experiments examining body image and self-presentation. Participants' scores on the state SPAS (S-SPAS) were significantly correlated, in expected directions, with scores on both trait and state measures of body image and self-presentation, and with body mass index (BMI). In addition, S-SPAS scores discriminated between women who exercised in a mixed-sex versus a same-sex environment, but trait SPAS scores did not. Together, these results provide evidence of construct validity of a state version of the SPAS and demonstrate that social physique anxiety can be conceptualized and measured as a situational variable. The S-SPAS, rather than the trait SPAS, should be employed in experiments designed to detect differences in state social physique anxiety.
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