The Effects of Pubertal Timing and Alexithymia on Symptoms of Muscle Dysmorphia and the Drive for Muscularity in Men

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Relationships between pubertal timing and alexithymia on the development of muscle dysmorphia (MD) and drive for muscularity (DM) in men are unknown. Our purpose was to determine if pubertal timing and alexithymia effect the development of MD and DM. The sample included 304 men (Mage = 22.49, SD = 4.38). We used the Modified Pubertal Development Scale, Twenty-Item Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder Inventory, and the Drive for Muscularity Scale. Multivariate analysis of variance analyses were used to measure the effects of alexithymia on muscle dysmorphic disorder and DM. There was a significant mean vector difference (Λ = .93, F(3, 238) = 6.17, p < .05) between men with low and high levels of alexithymia such that men with low alexithymia scored lower on the three subscales of the Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder Inventory. Men with higher levels of alexithymia are more likely to report MD symptoms but not DM. A shortened version of the Modified Pubertal Development Scale did not significantly predict symptoms of MD or DM. Implications are discussed.

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