A serial mediation model testing early adversity, self-concept clarity, and thin-ideal internalization as predictors of body dissatisfaction

Lenny R. Vartanian, Franzisca V. Froreich, Joshua Morrison Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the associations among early family adversity (e.g., family violence, neglect), self-concept clarity (i.e., having a clear and coherent sense of one's own personal identity), thin-ideal internalization, and body dissatisfaction. Female university students in Australia (n = 323) and adult female community members in the United States (n = 371) completed self-report measures of the relevant constructs. In both samples, serial mediation analysis revealed that early family adversity was negatively associated with self-concept clarity, self-concept clarity was negatively associated with thin-ideal internalization, and thin-ideal internalization was positively associated with body dissatisfaction. These findings suggest that early adverse experiences might impair individuals’ self-concept clarity, and that low self-concept clarity might increase the risk of internalization of the thin ideal (as a means of defining the self) and consequently body dissatisfaction. These findings also suggest possible avenues for prevention and intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalBody Image
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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