The effects of leader gender on self-presentational concerns in exercise
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The present study examined the impact of the exercise leader's gender on the self-presentational concerns of women in a live exercise class. Eighty-seven college-aged non- or infrequent exercisers participated in a group exercise class led by either a female or male instructor. Participants completed measures of Self-Presentational Efficacy (SPE), State Social Anxiety (SSA) and State Social Physique Anxiety (SPA-S) prior to and following completion of a group exercise class. A repeated measures Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), with time as the within-subjects factor and leader gender as the between-subjects factor, was conducted. A significant main effect for time was found (F(3, 80) = 19.65, p < 0.001). Estimated marginal means indicated that all participants reported significantly higher SPE and lower SSA and SPA-S post-exercise. Completing an exercise class may override any self-presentational concerns that can arise from the exercise environment. Future studies should adopt ecologically valid research designs to gain a clearer picture of self-presentational concerns in exercise classes.
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