Associations between positive body image and indicators of men's and women's mental and physical health

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89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Positive body image has been found to be associated with various beneficial health-related indicators among women. Yet, less is known about its health-related correlates among men. The goal of the current study was to examine associations between positive body image and various mental and physical health-related indicators in both men and women. Undergraduate students (. N=. 284) from a non-residential college in the northeastern United States participated. Individuals with greater positive body image reported less depression, higher self-esteem, fewer unhealthy dieting behaviors, lower drive for muscularity, and greater intentions to protect their skin from UV exposure and damage. Gender did not moderate these associations; thus, connections between positive body image and health-related indicators were similar for women and men. Results suggest that positive body image has significant implications for health and well-being beyond objective body size. Health care providers should encourage positive body image because of its potential health benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-74
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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