Support for an expanded tripartite influence model with gay men.

Published: October 27, 2011

Abstract

This study investigated whether an expanded tripartite influence model would represent gay men’s experiences. This model was extended by adding partners and gay community involvement as sources of social influence and considering dual body image pathways (muscularity and body fat dissatisfaction) to muscularity enhancement and disordered eating behaviors. Latent variable structural equation modeling analyses upheld this model for 346 gay men. Dual body image pathways to body change behaviors were supported, although three unanticipated interrelationships emerged, suggesting that muscularity and body fat concerns and behaviors may be more integrated for gay men. Internalization of the mesomorphic ideal, appearance comparison, muscularity dissatisfaction, and body fat dissatisfaction were key mediators in the model. Of the sources of social influence, friend and media pressure to be lean, gay community involvement, and partner, friend, media, and family pressures to be muscular made incremental contributions. Unexpectedly, certain sources were directly connected to body change behaviors.

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