Psychosocial and health-related predictors of body image dissatisfaction: a quantitative and qualitative approach

Russell, Elizabeth A. (Elizabeth Anne) (2009) Psychosocial and health-related predictors of body image dissatisfaction: a quantitative and qualitative approach. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

[img] [English] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.

Download (8MB)


This research examined the interrelationships of health-related and psychosocial determinants of body image among a nonclinical population of Canadian women using mixed methods. Based on survey data from the 2003 administration of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), Study 1 examined relationships between body image and self-esteem, social environment, and eating and exercise behaviour among girls and young women aged 12 to 29, delineated by four age categories (N=2114). Significant positive relationships between body image and each variable were found, with primary predictors of body image being self-satisfaction and perception of thinness, followed by a variety of social and health variables depending on developmental stage. Based on three focus groups (N=14), Study 2 discussion topics bridged participants' body image feelings with these variables, guided by the statistical findings of Study 1. Women with poor self-esteem, limited social support, and unhealthy eating and exercise behaviours felt much worse about their bodies than women with higher ratings in these categories. This reinforced the quantitative themes but yet provided a more detailed insight into how the variables operate independently and in interaction, particularly with respect to upward social comparison to similar and proximal others. Integrated results indicate that body image satisfaction among girls and young women may largely be predicted by a combination of the topics in question depending particularly on age, with emphasis on self-esteem and social comparison as potentially moderating constructs. An understanding of such variables provides a crucial step toward predicting and counteracting the psychologically damaging implications of body dissatisfaction.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 8868
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-115)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Body image disturbance; Body image in women--Canada; Self-esteem in women--Canada; Social psychology--Canada

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics