Method: Pre-service PE teachers (N = 199) from six universities (115 males, 84 females, Mage = 19.89 years) and in-service teachers (N= 102) from around the US (29 males, 73 females, Mage = 46.35 years) completed a demographic questionnaire along with the Socio-Cultural Attitudes toward Appearance Questionnaire (SATAQ-3; subscales: Athlete, General Internalization, Pressures, and Information), the Modified Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ), and Anti-fat Attitude Test (AFAT; subscales: Romantic, Weight Control/Blame, and Character Disparagement.
Analysis/Results: Separate multiple regressions were run on the pre-service and in-service PE teachers; one for each of the AFAT subscales. Fisher’s Z test was used to compare the influence of goal orientations and sociocultural attitudes on each of the anti-fat attitudes between pre-service and in-service teachers. For Romantic beliefs among in-service teachers, the General and Pressures subscales significantly contributed to the model, explaining 6.1% of the variance. For pre-service teachers, 16.4% of the variance in romantic beliefs was accounted for by Ego orientation, Pressures, and General. Character beliefs for in-service teachers were significantly influenced by Task orientation and General, accounting for 10% of the variance. Task and Ego orientation were both predictors of Character among pre-service teachers, explaining a total of 8.9% of the variance between them. For Weight Control/Blame among in-service teachers, General was the only predictor, accounting for 3.6% of the variance. Weight Control/Blame among pre-service teachers, was different, with ego and task orientation accounting for 12% of the variance. Fisher’s Z tests found no significant differences in prediction models between in-service and pre-service teachers in the three constructs of obesity bias.
Conclusions: General internalization of sociocultural appearance ideals contributed to anti-fat attitudes, especially in in-service teachers. Also, ego orientation emerged as more important to the relationship to anti-fat attitudes for pre-service teachers.