Self-compassion and body dissatisfaction: How do they relate?

dc.contributor.advisor Vitousek, Kelly Wagner, Allison Frances
dc.contributor.department Psychology 2020-11-25T18:29:33Z 2020-11-25T18:29:33Z 2020 Ph.D.
dc.subject Clinical psychology
dc.subject Body dissatisfaction
dc.subject Body image
dc.subject Eating disorders
dc.subject Self-compassion
dc.title Self-compassion and body dissatisfaction: How do they relate?
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract Previous research has clearly documented associations between self-compassion and body image, restrained eating, and eating disorder psychopathology. This project sought to move beyond connecting self-compassion and body image to understand where self-compassion fits into a model of body dissatisfaction. Additionally, it examined whether and how the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003a) captures participants’ predicted reactions to difficult circumstances, and the extent to which self-compassionate responding may be context-dependent. In the first study, 215 female participants completed a series of questions detailing predicted thought, affective, and summary responses to challenging situations in school, with friends, and in their relationships with their bodies. A series of exploratory factor analyses then reduced these responses into factor scores representative of negative and positive affect, catastrophizing and personalizing thoughts, thoughts of equanimity, regulated responses, and strong responses. Overall, self-compassion had small to moderate positive associations with thoughts of equanimity and regulated responses when controlling for self-esteem, BMI, and psychological distress, while self-coldness was associated with catastrophizing and personalizing thoughts and strong responses. Further, evidence supported the hypothesis that, in some situations, self-compassion may be context-dependent, as contingent self-worth moderated the association between self-compassion and predicted responses in several scenarios and predicted responses to several scenarios varied based on area of life (school, friendships, body) and degree of fault involved. In the second study, 406 female participants completed a series of questionnaires capturing pressures to be thin, self-objectification, body shame, thin-ideal internalization, social comparison, body dissatisfaction, and self-compassion. Moderation analyses identified self-compassion as a moderator of the association between social comparison and body dissatisfaction, such that individuals high in self-compassion had a weaker association between social comparison and body dissatisfaction. Results from these studies suggest that it may be more appropriate to use the self-compassion subscales of the Self-Compassion Scale, rather than a total score, and that future research should integrate the contextual elements that facilitate use of self-compassion. Further, it suggests that one mechanism for mitigating body dissatisfaction could be focusing on enhancing self-compassion for those who engage in frequent social comparison.
dcterms.extent 253 pages
dcterms.language en
dcterms.publisher University of Hawai'i at Manoa
dcterms.rights All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
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