The relationship of personality factors, athletic identity, and exercise dependence among triathletes and regular exercisers

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Butcher, Dustin S.
Pauline, Jeffrey S.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.S.)
School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science
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There were several purposes of this study. The first objective was to examine the correlation between exercise dependence and personality factors in triathletes and regular exercisers. The second purpose of the study was to identify the relationship between exercise dependence and athletic identity in triathletes. The final purpose of the study was to identify a difference in exercise dependence between triathletes and regular exercisers. The study included 122 triathletes and 129 regular athletes that exercised at least 30 minutes per bout at least five times a week and have been doing so for at least the prior three months. All of the participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Exercise Dependence Scale (EDS) and NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). The triathletes additionally completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS). Past research has attempted to identify personality traits that correlate with exercise dependence. However, an apparent universal personality trait has not been established for any group of athletes with exercise dependence. The current study was able to identify a significant correlation (p < .05) between the personality trait, Neuroticism, and exercise dependence in both triathletes and regular exercisers. Additionally, a significant relationship (p < .05) between exercise dependence and athletic identity was identified in the triathletes. Findings also indicated a significant difference between triathletes and regular exercisers for exercise dependence. Triathletes displayed significantly more exercise dependent symptomology than regular exercisers.