Gender differences in weight-related and non-weight-related appearance concerns in a community sample

Charlotte Louise Keating, Jessie Stephens, Neil Arthur Thomas, David Jonathan Castle, Susan Lee Rossell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aims to investigate body image dissatisfaction in a community sample of men and women with the purpose of identifying whether concerns are consistent with typically `weight-related? and/or `non-weight? body parts, and how concerns relate to negative emotionality. Method: Two hundred twenty-six participants completed an online survey battery. Results: Women experienced greater dissatisfaction with their bodies than men, with differences in specific body parts that resulted in dissatisfaction. Women experiencing high levels of concern with appearance reported very low satisfaction with body parts commonly endorsed by individuals with anorexia nervosa (i.e., weight related), rather than body dysmorphic disorder (i.e., non-weight related). Men reported greater negative emotionality when they endorsed very low satisfaction with one or more body parts compared to women. Both genders reported negative emotionality when concern with appearance reached high levels. Conclusions: Findings suggest that for women, weight-related concerns are represented in the general community along a continuum, whereas, non-weight related appearance concerns, i.e., concerns consistent with body dysmorphic disorder, may not exist on the same continuum. In the future, it would be useful to determine the proportion of individuals who seek mental health services related to or unrelated to negative emotionality and/or weight-related body image concerns.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11 - 19
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

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