MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS AND EXERCISE
Volumen: 49, Numero: 5, Páginas: 714 pp.
PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of short intervention programs for changing negative attitudes towards obesity through strategies of dynamics intergroup contact in pre-professionals of exercise sciences and determine the most effective strategy. METHODS: A total of 56 students of exercise sciences (23.95 ± 4.70-years; 75% male) from Ecuadorian universities participated in this study. The sample was randomly divided into a control group (CG: without intervention, n = 14) and three experimental groups with different dynamics intergroup contact interventions (DC: Direct-Contact, n=14, IC: Imagined Contact, n=13 and CTP: Contact to Take-Perspectives, n=15). Participants were assessed before and after interventions through the AFA (Antifact Attitudes Questionnaire) for explicit attitudes toward obesity in three dimensions (aversion, fear of gaining weight and unwillingness), and the IAT (Implicit Association questionnaire Antifaz, electronic version) for measuring implicit attitudes. The body mass index was normal (22.5 ± 1.75) for the participants. Statistical comparisons between groups before and after the interventions were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U test for the AFA, and Chi-square test for the IAT. RESULTS: AFA questionnaire revealed that the implementation of short intervention programs decreased attitudes toward obesity with significant differences among all groups in aversion subscale (p=0.06) and unwillingness (p=0.007). In addition, DC group showed the lowest ranges whereas the CG showed the highest ranges for both subscales. The IAT questionnaire showed that DC group significantly decreased the number of participants with implicit negative attitudes towards obesity (x 2 = 0.04). The CG showed the smallest decrease compared to the rest of study groups. CONCLUSIONS: Social psychology programs of short intervention, and in particular by dynamics direct contact programs could modify the implicit and explicit attitudes towards obesity in pre-professionals of exercise sciences.