Psychological risk factors for compulsive exercise: a longitudinal investigation of adolescent boys and girls

Compulsive exercise is associated with unhealthy outcomes and is common among eating disorder populations. This study aimed to replicate previous cross-sectional work by considering psychological characteristics as longitudinal predictors of compulsive exercise. A sample of 369 adolescents (n= 221 female, n= 148 male) completed measures of compulsive exercise, eating disorder psychopathology, obsessive-compulsiveness, perfectionism, anxiety, and depression at baseline, and a measure of compulsive exercise two. years later. For boys, greater obsessive-compulsiveness and self-oriented perfectionism predicted compulsive exercise, whilst among girls only baseline compulsive exercise was a significant predictor. Compulsive exercise prevention work among boys may benefit from targeting their levels of obsessive-compulsiveness and self-perfectionism. For girls, further risk factor research into compulsive exercise is required. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.