Attitudinal Assessment of Body Image for Adolescents and Adults

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Book Chapter

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body image, measurement, global satisfaction, affect facets, behavioral facets, male-specific body image, cognition, attitudes


This chapter summarizes the measures available for each of four major dimensions of body image—global satisfaction, and affective, cognitive, and behavioral facets—with a special section devoted to male-specific body image measures. This chapter pertains to attitudinal assessments for adolescents and adults. Furthermore, this chapter focuses on dispositional, trait-level assessments of body image: Global subjective satisfaction or disturbance—these measures tap into one's overall evaluation of the body in terms of satisfaction; Affective distress regarding appearance—these measures assess one's emotions related to appearance, including stress, anxiety, or discomfort; Cognitive aspects of body image—these measures examine cognitions related to body image, such as appearance schemas, distorted thoughts or beliefs about one's body, and cognitive investment in appearance; Behavioral aspects of body image—this component of body image includes avoidance of situations or objects that evoke body image concerns and body-checking behaviors. In contrast to the assessment of the perceptual distortion component of body image, which is an area rife with methodological perplexity, this chapter covers measures that assess a person's self-perceptions or attitudes regarding body image. As with other self-report questionnaires, there are important issues and methodological concerns to consider when selecting a measure.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Attitudinal Assessment of Body Image for Adolescents and Adults, in T. F. Cash & L. Smolak (Eds.), Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention, Guilford Press, p. 154-169