Athletic Identity and BMI Changes in Marching Arts Performers

Jacob Levy, University of Tennessee, USA

Theme: Exercise and health behaviors

Poster Number: 111

Program ID: POS-2

Presentation: October 4, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


The purpose of this study was to investigate Body Mass Index (BMI) changes for young adults who participate in a marching arts activity—World Class junior drum and bugle corps, sanctioned by Drum Corps International (DCI). This sample was chosen in an effort to examine possible health benefits and challenges for participants in non-traditional physical activities. Specifically, the relation between participants’ athletic identity and their changes and maintenance of BMI from one season to the next was analyzed. The following research questions were explored: 1: Are there changes in BMI for world-class drum corps performers across three time periods: Prior to the 2011 competitive season (Time 1), End of the 2011 competitive season (Time 2), and Prior to the 2012 competitive season (Time 3)? 2: What is the degree of athletic identity endorsed by drum corps performers? 3: Is there a relationship between performers’ athletic identity and BMI changes across time? BMI data were collected from 89 young adults drum corps performers on three occasions (prior to their competitive season in 2011, and the end of the 2011 competitive season, and prior to the 2012 competitive season). In addition, 50 of the original sample also completed the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS; Brewer & Cornelius, 2001) at the beginning of the 2012 season. Significant reductions in BMI were found between the beginning and end of the 2011 competitive season; however BMI rates returned to approximately their previous level by the beginning of the following season. Participants’ athletic identity was negatively related to BMI changes between the end of the 2011 season and 2012 season, suggesting performers with stronger athletic identity better maintained their BMI level during the off-season. Unfortunately, the vast majority of drum corps performers did not identify as athletes. Practical suggestions for interventions will be discussed.

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