In the present study, we sought to position support for weight-related anti-discrimination laws and policies within a broader political and socioeconomic context. Specifically, we hypothesised that individualistic (rather than structural) anti-poverty attitudes would provide the basis for negative weight-related dispositions. To test this hypothesis, we asked 392 respondents from the United Kingdom to complete measures of support for weight-related anti-discrimination laws and policies, attributions about the causes of being larger-bodied, and weight-related stigma and prejudice. Path analysis with robust maximum likelihood estimation indicated that greater individualistic anti-poverty attitudes were significantly and directly associated with lower support for weight-related anti-discrimination laws and policies. This direct association was also significantly mediated by weight-related stigma and via a serial mediation involving both weight-related stigma and prejudice. Although greater individualistic anti-poverty attitudes were significantly associated with greater personal attributions for being larger-bodied, the latter did not emerge as a significant mediation pathway. The present findings highlight the importance of considering broader political and socioeconomic contextual factors that may provide a basis for the development, maintenance, and manifestation of negative weight-related dispositions.
Test adaptation - the translation and validation of source instruments for use in new social identity groups - plays a vital role in body image research. Previously, Swami and Barron (2019) developed a set of good practice recommendations and reporting guidelines for the test adaptation of body image instruments. However, a number of issues in that article were not covered in depth and new issues have emerged as a result of developments in theory and practice. Here, we offer an addendum to Swami and Barron in the form of frequently asked questions. Issues discussed in this article include various methods for achieving good translations, the appropriateness of revising instrument components prior to empirical analyses, determining the number of factors to extract in exploratory factor analyses (EFA), and the usefulness of EFA versus confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) in determining factorial validity. We also cover methods of analyses that have been infrequently utilised by body image scholars, including exploratory structural equation modelling (ESEM), bifactor model analyses, and various methods for establish measurement invariance. When read as an addendum to Swami and Barron, we hope this article helps to clarify issues of importance for body image researchers interested in conducting test adaptation work.
Previous research suggests that lower interoceptive awareness is associated with more negative body image during adolescence. However, studies have not distinguished between adaptive and maladaptive modes of attention toward interoceptive signals, and relationships between interoceptive awareness and positive body image remain unexplored. To address these issues, a sample of 265 British adolescents (140 girls, 125 boys) aged 13-16 years completed measures of interoceptive awareness, body appreciation, functionality appreciation, body pride, body shame, and body surveillance. Correlational analyses broadly indicated that greater interoceptive awareness was significantly associated with more positive body image. Multiple regressions revealed significant predictive relationships between interoceptive awareness and all facets of body image in both girls and boys, except body surveillance, which was not statistically significant for girls. At the univariate level, the interoceptive awareness facets of Attention Regulation, Body Listening, Self-Regulation, and Trusting emerged as significant predictors for at least one facet of positive body image, whilst the Noticing and Emotional Awareness facets did not. These findings broadly align with previous research with adults, which has indicated that the way interoceptive stimuli are appraised and responded to might be more closely associated with facets of body image than the tendency to notice interoceptive stimuli.
Social media use is consistently associated with more negative body image, but much of this literature is cross-sectional and/or lacks ecological validity. To overcome these limitations, we examined associations between everyday social media engagement and appearance satisfaction using an experience sampling method. Fifty participants from Central Europe completed a 14-day experience sampling phase in which they reported their appearance satisfaction at two random time-points each day, as well as following active engagement with social media content, using a wrist-worn wearable and a physical analogue scale (PAS; i.e., angle of a participant's forearm between flat and fully upright as a continuous response scale). Results indicated that engagement with social media content was significantly associated with lower appearance satisfaction. Additionally, we found that engagement with the content of known others was associated with significantly lower appearance satisfaction than engagement with the content of unknown others. These effects were stable even after controlling for participant demographics, active vs. passive daily social media use, and body image-related factors. These results provide evidence that everyday social media engagement is associated with lower appearance satisfaction and additionally provides preliminary support for the use of a PAS in body image research using an experience sampling method.
Issues of construct commonality and distinguishability in body image research are typically addressed using structural equal models, but such methods can sometimes present problems of interpretation when data patterns are complex. One recent-developed tool that could help in summarising complex data patterns is Item Pool Visualisation (IPV), an illustrative method that locates item pools from within the same dataset and illustrates these in the form of single or nested radar charts. Here, we demonstrate the utility of IPV in visualising data patterns vis-à-vis positive body image. Five-hundred-and-one adults from the United Kingdom completed seven widely-used measures of positive body image and data were subjected IPV. Results demonstrated that, of the included measures, the Body Appreciation Scale-2 provided the closest and most precise measurement of a core positive body image construct. The Functionality Appreciation Scale and the Authentic Pride subscale of the Body and Appearance Self-Conscious Emotions Scale tapped more distal aspects. Our results also highlight possible limitations with the use of several other instruments as measures of positive body image. We discuss implications for research aimed at better understanding the nature of positive body image and interpreting complex data patterns in body image research more generally.
The Body Acceptance by Others Scale (BAOS) measures the degree to which individuals perceive body acceptance by others, but its factor structure is questionable. Here, we developed a revision of the BAOS (i.e., the BAOS-2) by designing novel items reflective of generalised perceptions of body acceptance by others. In three studies, we examined the psychometrics of the 13-item BAOS-2. Study 1, with United Kingdom adults (N = 601), led to the extraction of a unidimensional model of BAOS-2 scores and provided evidence of 4-week test-retest reliability. Study 2, with United Kingdom adults (N = 423), indicated that the unidimensional model of BAOS-2 scores had adequate fit and that scores were invariant across gender. Study 2 also provided evidence of convergent, construct, criterion, discriminant, and incremental validity. Study 3 cross-validated the fit of the unidimensional model in adults from the United State (N = 503) and provided evidence of invariance across gender and national group. Internal consistency coefficients of BAOS-2 scores were adequate across all three studies. There were no significant gender differences in BAOS-2 scores and a significant national difference had a negligible effect size. Thus, the BAOS-2 is a psychometrically-sound measure that can be utilised in future research.
The Body Appreciation Scale-2 (BAS-2) is a widely-used, 10-item measure of a core facet of positive body image. To extend its use internationally, we examined the factor structure and conducted a preliminary assessment of the psychometric properties of a novel Hebrew translation of the BAS-2. A sample of 613 Israeli adults (362 women, 251 men; age M = 29.52, SD = 9.47) completed the BAS-2 alongside demographic items and previously-validated measures of life satisfaction, self-esteem, self-compassion, and body investment. Exploratory factor analyses with a semi-random split-half subsample (n = 377) indicated that BAS-2 scores reduced to a single dimension with all 10 items. This factor structure was equivalent across women and men. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with a second split-half subsample (n = 235) showed the 1-dimensional factor structure had adequate fit following one modification and multi-group CFA showed that the model was invariant across sex. Men had significantly higher BAS-2 scores than women, but the effect size was small (d = 0.22). Evidence of construct validity was demonstrated through positive associations with indices of life satisfaction, self-esteem, self-compassion, and body investment. The availability of a validated BAS-2 Hebrew translation should advance future research of body appreciation in Israel.
Previous studies have reported a significant association between nature exposure and positive body image, but understandings of the mechanisms that help to explain this link remain nascent. Here, we considered the extent to which trait mindfulness and connectedness to nature, respectively, mediate the aforementioned relationship both in parallel and serially. An online sample of 398 participants (199 women, 196 men, 3 other; age M = 28.1 years) from the United Kingdom completed measures of self-reported nature exposure, mindful awareness and acceptance, connectedness to nature, and body appreciation. Results indicated that inter-correlations between scores on all measures were significant and positive. Following the elimination of non-significant pathways, path analysis resulted in an adequately-fitting model in which the direct relationship between nature exposure and body appreciation was significant. In addition, connectedness to nature - but not trait mindfulness - significantly mediated the direct relationship. Finally, we also found evidence of a serial mediation, where the association between nature exposure and body appreciation was mediated by mindful awareness followed by connectedness to nature. The implications of these results for scholarly and practitioner understanding of the impact of nature exposure on positive body image are discussed in conclusion.
Previous work has shown that exposure to images of nature results in elevated state body appreciation, but static images may lack ecological validity. Here, we examined the impact of exposure to short films of simulated, first-person walks in natural or built environments. Thirty-six university students completed a measure of state body appreciation before and after watching films of either a walk in a natural or a built environment created specifically for the present study. Two weeks later, they completed the same task but watched the other film type. Results indicated that exposure to the film of a natural environment resulted in significantly elevated state body appreciation (d = 0.66). There was no significant change in state body appreciation following exposure to the film of the built environment (d = 0.14). These findings suggest that exposure to films depicting the natural environment may promote immediate, moderate-sized improvements in state body image.
Perfectionistic self-presentation refers to a desire to create an image of flawlessness in the eyes of the others and has been associated with more negative body image. We extended previous research by examining associations between perfectionistic self-presentation and breast size dissatisfaction, and also examined whether motherhood status moderated this association. A total of 484 Italian women (age M = 40.39, SD = 13.73; mothers n = 53.9%) completed measures of perfectionistic self-presentation (perfectionistic self-promotion, nondisplay of imperfection, and nondisclosure of imperfection) and breast size dissatisfaction. Preliminary analyses indicated that a majority of the sample (69.2%) reported breast size dissatisfaction, with 44.4% and 24.4% desiring larger and smaller breasts, respectively, than they currently had. Only perfectionistic self-promotion and nondisplay of imperfection were significantly correlated with breast size dissatisfaction. Both associations were additionally moderated by motherhood status, with associations being significant in non-mothers but not in mothers. Our findings suggest that motherhood may help decouple the link between perfectionistic self-presentation and breast size dissatisfaction. Future studies should assess whether this effect is due to an enhanced maternal view of breasts that emphasises nurturing and biological functions or a result of weaker investment in sociocultural norms on physical appearance.
The construct of intuitive eating is commonly assessed using the 23-item, 4-factor Intuitive Eating Scale-2 (IES-2; Tylka & Kroon Van Diest, 2013). In this study, we assessed the psychometric properties of a novel Greek translation of the IES-2 in adults from Cyprus. In Study 1 (N = 626), an exploratory factor analysis indicated that the IES-2 should be conceptualized as consisting of six factors that showed complete invariance across women and men. Study 2 (N = 793), using exploratory structural equation modelling (ESEM) and beifactor analysis (B-ESEM), indicated that the 6-factor B-ESEM model had adequate fit and evidenced complete invariance across sex once the correlated uniqueness of negatively worded IES-2 items was accounted for. This final model evidenced adequate composite reliability, and a global G-factor evidenced adequate convergent, concurrent, and discriminant validity. In contrast, the IES-2 S-factors showed more equivocal patterns of validity, with some S-factors showing less-than-adequate associations with body image variables, self-esteem, symptoms of disordered eating, and fruit and vegetable intake. In general, these results provide satisfactory evidence of the psychometric properties of the Greek IES-2 in adults from Cyprus, but also suggest that models of IES-2 scores may vary across national or cultural contexts.
Five studies were conducted to understand the impact of nature exposure on body image. In three studies using different designs and outcome measures, British university students were exposed to photographs of natural or built environments. Results indicated that exposure to images of natural, but not built, environments resulted in improved state body image. In Study 4, British community participants went on a walk in a natural or built environment, with results indicating that the walk in a natural environment resulted in significantly higher state body appreciation, whereas the walk in a built environment resulted in significantly lower scores. In Study 5, British participants were recruited as they were entering a designed green space on their own volition. Results indicated that spending time in the green space led to improved state body appreciation. These results indicate that exposure to isomorphic or in-situ natural environments has positive effects on state body image.
The Broad Conceptualization of Beauty Scale (BCBS) assesses the degree to which women perceive diverse appearances and internal qualities as being beautiful. Although the instrument is increasingly used in diverse national and linguistic contexts, no previous study has examined measurement invariance of the BCBS across racial groups. To rectify this, we asked 395 Black, 406 Hispanic, and 423 White women from the United States to complete the BCBS. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a unidimensional model of BCBS scores had poor fit to the data in the total sample, but freely estimating error covariances between six pairs of items resulted in adequate fit. Additionally, full configural and scalar invariance was supported, but metric invariance was not, with further testing indicating that the item loading for one item differed across groups. Comparison of latent means indicated that all between-groups comparisons in BCBS scores were non-significant. However, medium-sized group differences in BCBS scores emerged once group differences in key demographics were controlled for. Overall, these results suggest that the BCBS largely achieves measurement invariance across Black, Hispanic, and White women in the United States, suggestive of similarity in how the construct of broad conceptualisation of beauty is understood and experienced.
Previous research has suggested that the factor structure of Body Appreciation Scale (BAS), a widely-used measure of positive body image, may not be cross-culturally equivalent. Here, we used confirmatory factor analysis to evaluate the conceptual equivalence of a Chinese (Cantonese) translation of the BAS among women (n=1319) and men (n=1084) in Hong Kong. Results showed that neither the one-dimensional nor proposed two-dimensional factor structures had adequate fit. Instead, a modified two-dimensional structure, which retained 9 of the 13 BAS items in two factors, had the best fit. However, only one of these factors, reflective of General Body Appreciation, had adequate internal consistency. This factor also had good patterns of construct validity, as indicated through significant correlations with participant body mass index, self-esteem, and (among women) actual-ideal weight discrepancy. The present results suggest that there may be cultural differences in the concept and experience of body appreciation.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents is rising rapidly in many countries, including Malaysia. This article aims to present the associations between body mass index-based body weight status, body weight perception, and weight control practices among adolescents in Malaysia. The Malaysia School Based Nutrition Survey 2012, which included a body weight perception questionnaire and anthropometric measurements, was conducted on a representative sample of 40 011 students from Standard 4 until Form 5, with a 90.5% response rate. Comparing actual and perceived body weight status, the findings show that 13.8% of adolescents underestimated their weight, 35.0% overestimated, and 51.2% correctly judged their own weight. Significantly more normal weight girls felt they were overweight, whereas significantly more overweight boys perceived themselves as underweight. The overall appropriateness of weight control practices to body weight was 72.6%. Adolescents attempting to lose or gain weight need to have better understanding toward desirable behavioral changes.
Previous studies have reported equivocal findings concerning the impact of wearing a hijab, or Islamic head- and body-cover, on Muslim women's body image. Here, we sought to examine that impact using a larger sample of Muslim women than has been relied upon and a wider range of body image measures. A total of 587 British Muslim women completed a battery of scales assessing their frequency and conservativeness of hijab use, body image variables, attitudes towards the media and beauty ideals, importance of appearance, and religiosity. Preliminary results indicated that 218 women never used the hijab and 369 women used some form of the hijab at least rarely. Controlling for religiosity, women who wore the hijab had more positive body image, lower internalization of media messages about beauty standards, and placed less importance on appearance than women who did not wear the hijab. Among women who wore the hijab, hijab use significantly predicted weight discrepancy and body appreciation over and above religiosity. These results are discussed in terms of the possible protective impact among British Muslim women of wearing the hijab.
The present study examined associations between the Big Five personality domains and measures of men's body image. A total of 509 men from the community in London, UK, completed measures of drive for muscularity, body appreciation, the Big Five domains, and subjective social status, and provided their demographic details. The results of a hierarchical regression showed that, once the effects of participant body mass index (BMI) and subjective social status had been accounted for, men's drive for muscularity was significantly predicted by Neuroticism (β=.29). In addition, taking into account the effects of BMI and subjective social status, men's body appreciation was significantly predicted by Neuroticism (β=-.35) and Extraversion (β=.12). These findings highlight potential avenues for the development of intervention approaches based on the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and body image.
This study investigated how dissatisfaction with particular aspects of the body was associated with overall body dissatisfaction among male adolescents in Western and Asian cultures. One hundred and six Malaysian Malays, 55 Malaysian Chinese, 195 Chinese from China, and 45 non-Asian Australians aged 12 to 19 years completed a questionnaire assessing dissatisfaction with their overall body and dissatisfaction with varying aspects of their body. Dissatisfaction with the face, height, and hair was positively correlated with overall body dissatisfaction among Malaysian Malays after body mass index, age and dissatisfaction with body areas typically included in measures (weight/shape, upper, middle, and lower body, and muscles) had been controlled for. Dissatisfaction with the face was positively correlated with overall body dissatisfaction among Malaysian Chinese. These findings demonstrate the differences in body focus for males from different cultures and the importance of using assessment measures that address all possible areas of body focus.
Given that the prevalence of social anxiety in obese individuals is high, it is necessary that we increase our knowledge about the related factors that cause social anxiety in obese individuals. The present study sought to examine the role of body esteem as a mediator between sedentary behaviour and social anxiety. The participants were 207 overweight and obese individuals who completed the self-report measures. The structural equation modelling displayed that obese individuals with sedentary behaviour and poor body esteem were more likely to show social anxiety. Body esteem partially mediated between sedentary behaviour and social anxiety. Our results highlight the role of sedentary behaviour and body esteem as promising avenues for reducing social anxiety in obese individuals.
Perceived weight in the face and body size have been shown to be significant predictors of both attractiveness and health. Studies looking at the relationship between attractiveness, perceived health, and perceived weight in faces have found that individuals prefer a lower weight for attractiveness than for apparent health. Here, a group of twenty-four Asian participants were allowed to manipulate the apparent body mass indices (BMIs) of full-length photographs of young Malaysian Chinese women to enhance their perceived healthiness and attractiveness. Results showed that both men and women differentiated between attractiveness and health by preferring a lower BMI for attractiveness than health, suggesting a consistency in the preferred ideal BMI for attractiveness and healthy appearance across both sexes. Results also suggested that BMI provides important cues to judgments of attractive and healthy appearance.