Importance of Ideal Body Image, Self-Esteem and Depression in Females.Report as inadecuate

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Dissatisfaction with body image among women has become a major psychological and physical contemporary problem. This study is among the few to empirically suggest that overall body satisfaction is strongly related to perceived discrepancy of one's body image from ideal societal standards of attractiveness. This study also identifies the personal importance of meeting these ideals (IMI) as a mediating variable between body satisfaction and either self-esteem or depression. The results indicated that body satisfaction was positively correlated with self-esteem and negatively correlated with depression scores in a sample of 164 undergraduate women. As predicted, low body satisfaction alone did not predict self-esteem and depression scores as strongly as when IMI was included as a predictor. The presence of IMI enhances our understanding of why not all women who are dissatisfied with their bodies inevitably display lowered self-esteem and depression scores. (BF)

Descriptors: Body Image, Body Weight, College Students, Depression (Psychology), Females, Physical Attractiveness, Physical Characteristics, Self Concept, Self Esteem, Self Evaluation (Individuals), Social Cognition, Social Influences

Author: Salem, Susan Kohlruss; Elovson, Allana C.



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