Sunday, November 18, 2007

Medical and Psychological Bibliography of Studies and Statistical Research on Self-Esteem in Dancers

The bulk of my research deals with dance and self-esteem related issues with a particular emphasis on medical and psychological studies and statistical research that focuses on self-esteem in dancers. My research highlights how these studies are being translated into use in dance companies, dance schools, and in the larger dance community in general. I have been pleased to note that the dance community, on a worldwide scale, is taking into account the various available studies and implementing programs and change where needed.

Dancing On Aero”. ASU Research E-Magazine. Publication Date: Spring 1999. 10 October 2004

This is the web site of “A magazine of scholarship and creative activity at Arizona State University”. It features an article on an ASU professor who revolutionizing the field of dance by training dancers more in line with how athletes are trained. He is interested in the serious health problems that plague dancer: nutrition deficiencies, menstrual and hormonal abnormalities, low self-esteem and the artistic aesthetic that results in low body weight. He includes in his teaching: nutrition, exercise science, physiology and a strong, healthy athletic aesthetic.

Taylor, Jim and Ceci Taylor. Psychology of Dance. Champaign: Human Kinetics, 1995.

This book has an extensive section on the cyclic connection of low self-esteem and poor performance in dancers. They claim that self-confidence is significantly related to anxiety and an excessively anxiety ridden environments inhibits performance.

Earl, William L. A Dancer Takes Flight: Psychological Concerns in the Development of the American Male Dancer. London: University Press of America, 1988.

This book attempts to study and understand the motivation and achievement of those who invest their lives in the execution of a physical repertory to be performed before a paying public. It asks if neurotic coping styles are a companion to exceptional prowess in the world of dance. The book is essentially asking if or what particular aspects of a male dancer’s symbolic processes constitute the instrument of both creativity and psychological illness.

Dyck, Noel and Eduardo P. Artchetti. Sport Dance and Embodied Identities. New York: Berg Oxford International Publishers, 2003.

This book argues that the beneficial outcomes attributed to children’s participation in sport and dance is extensive and extraordinary. In addition to offering physical exercise dance is identified by many teachers and parents as being especially well suited to equip children with self-esteem and confidence; nurturing a sense of responsibility and sociality in children.

Hanna, Judith Lynne. Dance and Stress. New York: AMS Press, 1988.

This book supports the idea that dance is an excellent stress reducer, stress that can lead to anxiety and low self-esteem. The book argues that the persistence of dance since the early times of humanity attests its efficacy in helping to resist, reduce and escape stress.

Adame, D. D., et al. “Physical Fitness, Body Image, and Locus of Control in College Women Dancers and Nondancers.” Perceptual Motor Skills 72.1 (1991): 91-5.

The article analyzed the measured physical fitness body image and locus of control in college freshman dancers and non-dancers. Through a variety of related tests and questionnaires it showed the dancers and non-dancers were the same in their relation to their appearance and the dancers had higher levels of physical fitness and health. This article was important to my research because it showed no difference in dancer and non-dancer self-esteem in relation to appearance.

Bettle, N., et al. “Body Image and Self-Esteem in Adolescent Ballet Dancers.” Perceptual Motor Skills 93.1 (2001): 297-309.

This study showed statistically that female adolescent dancers have a less favorable body image and self-esteem than adolescent male dancers. The article suggested interventions focused particularly on enhancing self-esteem could be useful in the prevention of psychopathology in adolescent ballet dancers. This article showed female dancers struggling over issues of self-esteem more than male dancers.

Clabaugh, A., and B. Morling. “Stereotype Accuracy of Ballet and Modern Dancers.” Journal of Social Psychology 144.1 (2004): 31-48.

This article addressed group stereotypes concerning ballet and modern dancers, where the stereotypes generally point to ballet dancers having lower body esteem. The groups actually scored the same in tests. This study shows that although ballerinas are often thought of as being hypercritical and perfectionist in relation to body image and technique, modern dancers suffer equally and must be addressed equally.

McCarren, Felicia. Dance Pathologies: Performance, Poetics, Medicine. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.

The author of this book chooses not to connect dance performance to beauty, grace, discipline, geometry, and the body’s transcendence of everyday bodiliness. Instead she chooses to point towards the complex and long-standing connections between illness, madness and performance, taking examples mostly from literature and history.

Golomer, E., et al. “Visual Contribution to Self-Induced Body Sway Frequencies and Visual Perception of Male Professional Dancers.” Neuroscience Letters 267.3 (1999): 189-92.

This article showed that professional male dancers were significantly more stable and less dependent on vision for postural control and perception than untrained male subjects. This essentially shows that male dancers were more stable in terms of balance because of extensive dance training. The study supports the idea that prowess in physical ability cultivates a positive self-image.

Healthier Dancer Program.” Dance UK. Last Modified 6 September 2001. 10 October 2004

This web sight offers literature and workshops on cultivating confidence boosting for dancers. It also talks about how to educate dancers on how to eat while touring and performing. There are events and talks on dance training and adolescent development presented by qualified psychologists and psychoanalysts. The site offers well-attended workshops on managing and overcoming performance anxiety and stress management. Self-esteem and motivation issues are addressed through talks and workshops along with eating disorders and dance and the female body presented by leading medical researchers.

Neumarker, K., et al. “Age- and Gender-Related Psychological Characteristics of Adolescent Ballet Dancers.” Psychopathology 33.3 (2000): 137-42.

The article shows that female adolescent dancers have lower body image and higher eating disorder tendencies than non-dancing adolescent females. Male adolescent dancers and non-dancing adolescent males were generally equal in those areas and higher than the females. This shows female dancers tend to have more issues regarding self- esteem than male dancers.

Radell, S. A., D. D. Adame, and S. P. Cole. “Effect of Teaching with Mirrors on Body Image and Locus of Control in Women College Ballet Dancers.” Perceptual Motor Skills 95.3 Pt 2 (2002): 1239-47.

This article addressed the effect of mirrors used in dance training. It showed that the use of mirrors in dance training definitely contributes to the low body image of the majority of the dancers in the study. It shows that when one is constantly watching ones self with a critical eye it causes over perfectionism and low self-esteem.

Edited by Ruch, Theodore C. Ph.D. and Harry D. Patton Ph.D. Physiology and Biophysics: Nineteenth Edition. Philadelphia and London: W.B. Saunders Company, 1960.

This is an indexical reference that supports the importance of movement in relation to health and longevity. I could not find an indexical reference that related directly to my research area of interest. This reference is supportive to the idea of physical activity as important to bodily health and when one feels healthy physically one is less prone to depression and low-self esteem; and dance is a physical activity.

Working together for healthy dancers at The Australian Ballet School.” Critical Dance. Last Modified 23 July 2003. 23 October 2004

This web sight has articles, information, workshops and special events that highlight how to cultivate health both physically and psychologically in dancers. For example an article on The Australian Ballet School students’ attitudes to injury are examined in general psychology class. They aim to de-stigmatize injuries and give dancers a feeling of personal control and self-responsibility/self-confidence.

Eating Disorders in Dance.” EDancing. 23 October 2004

This is a web site that posts articles and discussions on dancer health and lifestyle. The site educates the reader on the topics of eating disorders in dance and possibly how to eliminate the onset of these disorders. The site states that dancing, particularly ballet teaches people to be highly self-critical and encouraged by their teachers to focus on their imperfections in order to improve technique. These are some of the factors that may contribute to the development of eating disorders as they feed the negative side of the young dancers personality.

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