Aspects of the Self-Referent Thought in Italian Speleologists

Some aspects of the Self-Referent Thought such as Body Image (BI) and Body Satisfaction (BS) are not well known in subjects widely using their bodies for working or leisure purposes. It is hypothesized that they are lesser biased that those commonly found in literature. In order to gain insights on BI and BS, to a cohort of Italian professional speleologists (189 males and 69 females aged 18-68 years old) a modified versions of the Fallon & Rozin’s Test (1988) test and the Body Part Satisfaction Scale were administered on line. Vital statistics and curricular data, height and weight and the degree of physical activity carried out weekly were ascertained with questionnaires. Subjects were subdivided on the basis on the level of performance reached, after a thorough scrutiny of their previous curricula. Data were compared with those available in literature for Italians. On the average, speleologists tend to conform to their professional body typology, even if their ideal physique for cave explorers is more ectomorphic. Despite the high physical variability found, these professionals detain a correct vision of their bodies and show a good degree of satisfaction regarding their own body and its different parts. Results appear to becongruent with the undertaken activity, as speleology involves the whole body. This suggests that the positive influence of this activity on BI and BS.