Revisiting the Exercise Imagery and Exercise Dependence Relationship

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  • Alison Divine
    Western University, Ontario
  • Ross Roberts
  • Craig Hall
    Western University, Ontario
The present study examined the relationship between exercise imagery and exercise dependence, building on the limitations of previous work that has considered exercise dependence as a single factor construct. Examining the relationship between imagery and separate exercise dependence symptoms is vital to expand what is known about exercise dependence, but also to inform interventions to address exercise dependence. A total of 339 male (n = 99) and female (n = 240) adults completed measures of exercise dependence and imagery. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that different types of imagery were related to different exercise dependence symptoms. Appearance and health imagery were positively associated with tolerance, reduction in other activities, and lack of control symptoms. Routines imagery was positively associated with intention effects, whereas technique imagery was negatively associated with intention effects. Feelings imagery was positively associated with withdrawal symptoms of exercise dependence. These differential effects highlight the importance of considering exercise dependence multidimensionally; in particular, patterns of exercise imagery use may have important implications for interventions aimed at reducing/preventing exercise dependence.


  • Imagery, Exercise dependence, Excessive
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2016

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