Article

Elements of male body image: Prediction of depression, eating pathology and social sensitivity among gay men

Psychology Department, Saint Louis University, MO 63103, United States.
Body image (Impact Factor: 2.19). 09/2010; 7(4):310-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2010.07.006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of the current study was to assess the relative uniqueness of three components of male body image (i.e., muscle, body fat, and height dissatisfaction) in the prediction of indices of psychological distress (i.e., depression, eating restraint, eating concerns, and social sensitivity) among a community sample of 228 gay men. Results indicated that body fat dissatisfaction was predictive of all four criterion variables (controlling for muscle dissatisfaction). Conversely, muscle dissatisfaction was only associated with social sensitivity, while height dissatisfaction failed to significantly predict any of the criterion variables. These findings highlight the relative importance of body fat dissatisfaction among gay men and suggest that researchers and clinicians working with this population should utilize measures which include assessment of both muscularity and body fat.

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    • "Similarly, a meta-analysis of 27 studies (d ϭ 0.74) investigating body image satisfaction among heterosexual men and women, lesbians, and gay men confirms that gay men (n ϭ 984) are more vulnerable to body image dissatisfaction compared to heterosexual men (n ϭ 1,397; Morrison, Morrison, & Sager, 2004). Body image dissatisfaction among GBM has been associated with symptoms of depression (Blashill, 2010; Olivardia, Pope, Borowiecki, & Cohane, 2004), appearance-related anxiety (Blashill, 2010), and disordered eating symptomology (Blashill, 2010). A study of GBM (n ϭ 304) suggests that men who reported more symptoms of muscle dysmorphia also reported lower selfesteem and increased feeling of loneliness, than men who reported fewer muscle dysmorphia symptoms (Chaney, 2008). "
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    • "For example, the ideal male body is lean and muscular (Kimmel & Mahalik, 2004), and efforts to attain this physique may increase vulnerability to the development of eating disorders (Yelland & Tiggemann, 2003). Body fat dissatisfaction has predicted variance in symptoms of eating disorders among men (Blashill, 2010; Smith, Hawkeswood, Bodell, & Joiner, 2011; Tylka, 2011), and sociocultural pressures on men to be lean have predicted variance in disordered eating behaviors (Tylka, 2011; Tylka & Andorka, 2012). Smolak and Murnen's (2008) samples were college students from the United States of America, a majority of which were female and Caucasian. "
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    • "Hence, we hypothesized that muscularity dissatisfaction would predict muscularity enhancement behaviors, and body fat dissatisfaction would predict disordered eating behaviors. Indeed, gay men's levels of muscularity dissatisfaction and body fat dissatisfaction have been shown to be linked to their engagement in muscularity enhancement behaviors (Chaney, 2008) and disordered eating behaviors (Blashill, 2010; Smith, Hawkeswood, Bodell, & Joiner, 2011), respectively. Also, per the tripartite influence model, our third hypothesis was that muscularity dissatisfaction and body fat dissatisfaction should mediate the links from internalization of the mesomorphic ideal and appearance comparison to body change behaviors. "
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