Day-to-Day Body Image States: Prospective Predictors of Intra-Individual Level and Variability

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Body-image states, Body-image assessment, Body-image disturbance, Appearance self-schemas, Perfectionism, Eating attitudes

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Most body-image research has focused on the trait level of body-image evaluation, often neglecting the momentary fluctuations many people experience in everyday life. The present prospective study investigated whether theory-relevant body-image measures, perfectionistic self-presentation, and eating attitudes would predict average day-to-day body-image levels and their intra-individual variability. A convenience sample consisted of 121 women from two universities. In Phase 1 of the study, participants completed an online battery of selected body-image and personality questionnaires. In Phase 2, participants went online to complete the dependent measure, the Body Image States Scale, once per evening over 10 days. As hypothesized, more favorable body-image state levels were associated with less investment in appearance for self-worth, less body-image disturbance, fewer body-image cognitive distortions, less disturbed eating attitudes, and lower body mass. Moreover, greater day-to-day body-image variability was predicted by greater psychological investment in appearance, more body-image cognitive distortions, and higher perfectionistic self-presentation. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Body Image, v. 4, issue 1, p. 1-9