Development and Validation of the Muscle Pictorial Measure

  • Meghan Gillen, Ph.D. Penn State Abington
  • Charlotte N. Markey, Ph.D


Most pictorial measures of body perceptions vary by adiposity rather than muscularity. Measures examining muscularity have typically been created for men. We created pictorial measures that vary by muscularity and can be used by both genders. Two samples of racially/ethnically diverse undergraduates (N = 279 total) completed a survey including the new pictorial measure, weight-lifting behavior, and drive for muscularity. Weight and height were measured for one sample while self-reported for the second sample. Two weeks later, participants completed the pictorial measure online. Results indicate that this measure has satisfactory test-retest reliability, convergent validity, and cultural validity, and can be used to collect data quickly in large samples. Health implications of muscularity dissatisfaction as well as future research directions on this topic are discussed.


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