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Importance of Body Image

1.1 Background of the study

Body image refers to how a person perceives his or her own body appearance; this implies that how an individual perceives his or her attractiveness. The body of human has been closely related to beauty and its importance for many years. However, in the field of medicine body image is regarded as the “personal emotional attitudes beliefs and perceptions of their own body” the same term is commonly used in the field of psychology. On the other hand body image in sports refers to the general body appearance and perception but not specific parts of the body. It also refers to the comfort felt by a sportsperson in his or her body and how much control he or she has in regard to the activity being performed or carried out. On the other hand people around us play a very vital role towards influencing the general image of our body.

1.2 Objectives of the study

The purpose of this study is to assess the importance of body image in sports in New York City. The specific objectives of the study are:

  1. Identify the impact of physical appearance in body image in sports.
  2. To determine the extent to which behavior affects body image in sports.
  3. To identify the role of outside personnel such as coaches, managers and trainers affect body image in sports.

1.3 Research questions

The following research questions will guide the study to assess the importance of body image in sports.

  1. What is the impact of physical appearance body image in sports?
  2. What role does behavior play in body image in sports?
  3. What are the other outside factors that affect body image in sports?  

1.4 Literature review

Adrian posits that apart from sportsmen, other sports personnel are also affected by the body image; they include coaches, trainers and managers, however they might not take part directly in sports but they play a very vital role in ensuring that everything is in place (Andria 2010). They might not suffer the same body image problem like players; ideally they are more exposed to psychological emotions with regard to body image.

In addition, Maggie & Barrie (2005) concludes that whenever the performance of a team or an independent sports person is below average, they are usually held responsible for the dismal performance. It should be noted that human bodies can be subjected to desirable changes if an individual works towards it. More so, there are other body images that cannot be changed completely like the skin and hair colors, thus is would be ideal if people would proudly accept their color.

In his research, Andria (2010) acknowledges that there are other behavioral things which many people engage in as a result of body dissatisfaction. In this situation a person tend to live an isolated life and totally avoid meeting other people with the fear of either being laughed at or pushed aside by other people. When this behavioral act towards body dissatisfaction is prevalence in sports sector, it plays a very negative and critical role towards the performance and the entire team if he is a member of a team. The major concern with body dissatisfaction is isolation or avoiding other players and people, this situation can be worse if the person is a member of a team which requires training together to foster unity and gelling thus avoiding other people means avoiding training sessions as well.

1.5 Methodology

1.5.1 Research design

 The research design used in this study will be descriptive study. The survey designed will comprise both quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting and analyzing data. Descriptive survey refers to a method of collecting and information or administering questionnaires to sampled individuals. The design will be chosen in this study due to its appropriateness in Psychological fact findings which yield more accurate information. The research aims at accurate information on the importance of body image in sports.

1.5.2 Area of study

The study will be conducted in New York City. The city contains five boroughs which include Manhattan, Queens, Staten Islands, Bronx and Brooklyn. The city has about 18.9 million people and it lies on 17, 400 kilometers square. The city has a variety of languages  and people of different origins. The city has several playgrounds for both athletes and other outdoor games such as soccer.

1.5.3 Study population

The study will involve 1500 respondents divided according to age. The study will divide respondents according to different age brackets of up to 18 years, up to 35 years and over 36 years. The respondents will be sampled from all the ethnic groups in the city and across all the five boroughs.

1.5.4 Sample and sampling techniques

The sportsmen will be stratified into those up to 18 years, those up to 35 years and those above 36 years. The population will also include both the native and non-native Americans. The category of sportsmen in each category will be identified through a random sampling where each group will have 500 respondents. This will help yield equal opportunity of selection for each element of the population and will help yield data that will be generalized to the larger city inhabitants. Saturated sampling will be used to select native and non-native Americans in each category. 10 % of the population in each category will   be used to pilot the study. This represents 50 respondents in each category and 150 respondents in total.

Table: study population and sample

Category of respondents

Study population

Sample size

Sample size




Up to 18 years




Up to 35 years




Above 36 years




1.5.5 Data collection Instruments:

The study will use questionnaire as the main data collection tool. The questionnaire contained both open and closed-ended questions which will be administered to the selected public institutions.

1.5.6 Pilot Study

Copies of self- administered questionnaires will be used to collect information from sportsmen in New York City. A pilot study will be conducted to test the strength and weaknesses of the instrument followed by adjustments that will be found necessary. The questionnaire will pre-test to a representative sample which will be similar to but not the actual sample which the researcher used in the study using procedures that will be subsequently employed during the actual data collection. Pre- testing the questionnaire will help reveal vague questions following varied responses and prompting rephrasing using comments by respondents on concept, and deficiencies in direction and writing space. Furthermore, from the pilot study, a few copies of the questionnaire will be analyzed to determine the appropriateness and sustainability of the methods of data analysis (Andria 2010). The tool will be effective since the target population was mainly literate. The tool will assist in collecting quantitative and qualitative data on influence of procurement systems on the implementation of construction projects in public institutions.

1.5.7 Validity of data instruments

The researcher constantly checks and verifies questions and any other collected information during the process of data collection to ensure completeness and accuracy of data. There would be pre-testing of instruments whereby the researcher administers 50 questionnaires to ensure that the respondents are able to understand the questions correctly. The questionnaire is also given to the supervisor who determines its suitability. This study will insure that the instrument`s validity through pilot survey by ensuring that content items are representative, this will be done before the questionnaire is administered, to create good rapport with the respondents and reveal the ambiguities; inconsistencies hence bring into light the weaknesses of questions (Thomas 2012).

1.5.8 Reliability of instruments

According to Andria (2010), reliability is the level of internal consistency or stability of measuring device overtime. A measuring instrument is reliable if it provides consistent results. The instruments are reliable because they reflect the research topic, objectives and research questions. Items which lack clarity are rephrased while wrong items are removed before the instruments are used to collect data. The reliability of the research instruments will be measured using split – half method where instruments will be split into halves comprising odd and even appearances, and then calculating the person’s correlation coefficient (r) between the scores of the two halves.

1.5.9 Ethical considerations

In this research, I will consider the following ethical issues; confidentiality of all the information from the respondents, protection of the respondents’ identities, exercise of freedom of thought, intellectual honesty and maintaining of independence from possible attempts to bias and ensuring security of data during and after completion of research

1.5.10 Data Analysis Techniques

Responses are classified by building themes and sub themes and quality analysis used to analyze, describe and interpret data based on research questions and objectives. Data is then presented in form of frequencies, tabulations, percentages and explanatory notes using computers, (Thomas 2012).

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