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Trait body image flexibility as a predictor of body image states in everyday life of young Australian women

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Abstract

The present study evaluated whether individuals with varying levels of trait body image flexibility differ in the severity, variability, and correlates of state body dissatisfaction experienced in their daily lives. One hundred and forty-seven women completed a baseline measure of trait body image flexibility, followed by a 7-day ecological momentary assessment phase in which participants self-reported state body dissatisfaction, disordered eating behavior, drive for thinness, and appearance comparisons at 10 semi-random intervals daily. Higher trait body image flexibility predicted lower average scores, less frequent reporting of high state body dissatisfaction, and less variability in their state body dissatisfaction ratings. Individuals with higher trait body image flexibility were also less likely to engage in a range of behaviors and cognitions previously shown to produce body dissatisfaction, including upward appearance comparisons , drive for thinness, binge eating, and dieting. However, few of these state-based relationships involving body dissatisfaction and these related behaviors and cognitions were moderated by trait body image flexibility. Overall, this pattern of findings suggests that body image flexible individuals may have less negative body image because they are less inclined to engage in behaviors and cognitions in their daily lives that encourage negative body image.

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... The maximum number of surveys per day in the present study exceeds the number typically used per day in prior EMA studies (e.g., Fardouly, Pinkus, & Vartanian, 2017;Heron & Smyth, 2013a;Leahey & Crowther, 2008;Mason et al., 2018). This decision to increase the sampling within day is in line with several recent studies (Holland, Koval, Stratemeyer, Thomson, & Haslam, 2017;Tan et al., 2019), and is in recognition of recent work showing that lengthier intervals between assessments can lead to under-estimates of state-based associations (Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Karvounis, Pemberton, Hartley-Clark, Kockler, Santangelo, & Ebner-Priemer, 2018). ...
... Participants indicated their current level of body satisfaction using an 11-point end-defined scale (0 = completely dissatisfied to 10 = completely satisfied), which was then reversed so that high scores indicate greater state BD. This single-item method in measurement is consistent with prior body image studies(Rogers et al., 2017;Sonneville et al., 2012;Tan et al., 2019). Prior studies have demonstrated sensitivity to change from moment-to-moment of this single item state-based measure, as well as correlations with constructs theoretically relevant to state body dissatisfaction, including appearance comparisons, exercise for appearance-related reasons, and appearance focus (Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Dias, Krug,Richardson, & Fassnacht, 2018;Rogers et al., 2017;Tan et al., 2019). ...
... This single-item method in measurement is consistent with prior body image studies(Rogers et al., 2017;Sonneville et al., 2012;Tan et al., 2019). Prior studies have demonstrated sensitivity to change from moment-to-moment of this single item state-based measure, as well as correlations with constructs theoretically relevant to state body dissatisfaction, including appearance comparisons, exercise for appearance-related reasons, and appearance focus (Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Dias, Krug,Richardson, & Fassnacht, 2018;Rogers et al., 2017;Tan et al., 2019). ...
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... Both negative and positive items were included in the analyses. This approach is consistent with previous studies examining appearance-based comments using EMA (Fuller-Tyszkiewicz et al., 2019;Tan et al., 2019). Non-Appearance-Based Evaluations. ...
... This item was reverse coded, such that higher scores indicated greater state BD. The single item approach has been used previously by EMA studies assessing state BD (e.g., Chia et al., 2018;Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Dias, et al., 2018;Gittus et al., 2020;Tan et al., 2019). ...
... In all analyses, the time lag between assessments and scores on outcome variables at the previous time point were included as covariates to control for the potential influence of time intervals and prior experiences; consistent with the approach taken in prior EMA studies (e.g., Fuller-Tyszkiewicz et al., 2019; Tan et al., 2019). All data preprocessing and analyses were conducted in R studio version 4.0.2 ...
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The current study used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to investigate whether appearance-based comments, social and performance-based evaluations affected levels of body dissatisfaction (BD) and urges to engage in disordered eating behaviours (DE) throughout daily life. A total of 620 participants completed a baseline questionnaire assessing sociodemographic variables. Participants then downloaded a mobile app which alerted them to complete short surveys assessing their levels of BD, DE urges, and experiences of receiving comments and evaluations six times per day for seven days. Negative appearance-based comments predicted greater levels of state BD, while positive appearance comments predicted lower levels of state BD. Negative social and performance-based evaluations predicted an increase in state BD, while positive evaluations predicted a decrease in this outcome variable. No significant predictor was found for the DE urge outcomes. The present findings suggest that receiving negative and positive feedback in various domain of one’s life may predict opposite outcomes for body image. However, these effects do not necessarily associate with urges to engage in DE in a non-clinical population.
... The maximum number of surveys per day in the present study exceeds the number typically used per day in prior EMA studies (e.g., Fardouly, Pinkus, & Vartanian, 2017;Heron & Smyth, 2013a;Leahey & Crowther, 2008;Mason et al., 2018). This decision to increase the sampling within day is in line with several recent studies (Holland, Koval, Stratemeyer, Thomson, & Haslam, 2017;Tan et al., 2019), and is in recognition of recent work showing that lengthier intervals between assessments can lead to under-estimates of state-based associations Kockler, Santangelo, & Ebner-Priemer, 2018). ...
... Phase 2: State-based measurements from smartphone app (Days 2-8).2.3.2.1. State-based body satisfaction.Participants indicated their current level of body satisfaction using an 11-point end-defined scale (0 = completely dissatisfied to 10 = completely satisfied), which was then reversed so that high scores indicate greater state BD.This single-item method in measurement is consistent with prior body image studies(Rogers et al., 2017;Sonneville et al., 2012;Tan et al., 2019). Prior studies have demonstrated sensitivity to change from moment-to-moment of this single item state-based measure, as well as correlations with constructs theoretically relevant to state body dissatisfaction, including appearance comparisons, exercise for appearance-related reasons, and appearance focus (Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Dias, Krug,Richardson, & Fassnacht, 2018;Rogers et al., 2017;Tan et al., 2019). ...
... State-based body satisfaction.Participants indicated their current level of body satisfaction using an 11-point end-defined scale (0 = completely dissatisfied to 10 = completely satisfied), which was then reversed so that high scores indicate greater state BD.This single-item method in measurement is consistent with prior body image studies(Rogers et al., 2017;Sonneville et al., 2012;Tan et al., 2019). Prior studies have demonstrated sensitivity to change from moment-to-moment of this single item state-based measure, as well as correlations with constructs theoretically relevant to state body dissatisfaction, including appearance comparisons, exercise for appearance-related reasons, and appearance focus (Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Dias, Krug,Richardson, & Fassnacht, 2018;Rogers et al., 2017;Tan et al., 2019). ...
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Although appearance comparisons, self-monitoring, and appearance-related comments have been linked to body dissatisfaction in prior studies, the combined and unique influences of these variables on state body dissatisfaction in daily life has yet to be explored. The present study addressed this gap, and also evaluated whether these state-based effects were stronger for individuals with trait-level body image disturbances (internalization and body dissatisfaction). Eighty-four women completed baseline measures of trait internalization and body dissatisfaction, and then reported momentary experiences of body dissatisfaction, appearance self-monitoring, appearance-related comments, and appearance-based comparisons at up to 10 random times daily for seven days. Multilevel analyses confirmed that both appearance comparisons and commentary (both negative and positive) were predictive of changes in state body dissatisfaction when modelled individually as well as in a combined (full) model. Appearance self-monitoring was not a significant predictor, either individually or in the full model. These within-person relationships were not moderated by individual differences in trait body dissatisfaction and internalization of appearance standards. Accordingly, experiences of body dissatisfaction in daily life may be a common reaction to negative appearance comments and unflattering comparisons, yet positive comments and/or efforts to avoid appearance-based comparisons may have a positive effect on one's body image.
... The item was reverse-coded with higher scores suggesting greater state body dissatisfaction. This single item approach has been used previously by studies investigating state body satisfaction (e.g., [12,30]). ...
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... For instance, cross-sectional studies have reported strong associations between body image flexibility and lower levels of eating disorder-specific and general psychopathology in women (Bluett et al., 2016;Hill, Masuda, & Latzman, 2013;Rogers, Webb, & Jafari, 2018;Wendell, Masuda, & Le, 2012). More recently, research using ecological momentary assessment has shown trait-level body image flexibility to predict lower body dissatisfaction and eating disorder behaviors in daily life among Australian women (Tan et al., 2019). Finally, randomized controlled trials of interventions designed to cultivate body image flexibility have produced large reductions in body image concerns and eating disorder symptomatology in women with or at risk of an eating disorder (for reviews, see Linardon, Fairburn, Fitzsimmons-Craft, Wilfley, & Brennan, 2017;Linardon, Gleeson, Yap, Murphy, & Brennan, 2018). ...
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The emergence of body image flexibility into the positive body image nomenclature has innovatively expanded the conceptualization of how individuals may adaptively respond to body image threats. Given the notable growth of interest in researching this construct over nearly the past decade, the present analysis provides a systematic and critical review of evidence examining the roles of body image flexibility as correlate, mediator, moderator, and in intervention research. Results indicated that body image flexibility tended to demonstrate a pattern of relationships with correlates in directions predicted by its conceptualization and showed promise in functioning as both effect modifier and as an explanatory variable in the associations evaluated. Multiple studies demonstrated susceptibility to change following intervention. Although the current state of the literature is bound by notable limitations, the results of this review point to pertinent future steps in advancing the theory and application of body image flexibility scholarship.
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Objective Although exercise is typically found to improve body satisfaction, this effect may be reduced or even reversed for trait body‐dissatisfied individuals. The reasons for this remain unclear. This study tested the possibility that these effects are due to appearance‐related motives and/or increased appearance awareness post‐exercise. Method Participants included 178 women who completed baseline measures of trait body dissatisfaction, and then completed an experience sampling phase in which they self‐reported state body satisfaction and appearance awareness levels, and recent exercise experiences at six time‐points daily for 10 days. Results Trait body‐dissatisfied individuals were more likely to exercise for appearance‐related reasons, and experienced less of an increase in state body satisfaction post‐exercise. Appearance‐motivated exercise also increased appearance awareness. After controlling for appearance motives, the moderating effect of trait body dissatisfaction on the exercise–state body satisfaction relationship reduced to non‐significance. Conclusions Collectively, the present findings offer some support for both motive‐ and appearance awareness‐based explanations for the reduced benefits of exercise on body satisfaction exhibited in individuals with trait body dissatisfaction. Targeting the reasons for exercise and what one focuses on during exercise may be viable ways to overcome potential negative impacts of exercise on body image for these individuals. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? While the physical and psychological benefits of exercise are well established, recent findings suggest that these benefits for body satisfaction may be reduced (and possibly reversed) for individuals with elevated trait body dissatisfaction. The reasons for this moderating effect remain unclear. What does this study add? • Trait body‐dissatisfied individuals more often engaged in exercise for appearance‐related reasons. • Appearance motives for exercise are associated with smaller body satisfaction gains post‐exercise. • Reduced body satisfaction was also linked to increased appearance awareness post‐exercise.
Article
Dietary restriction contributes to disordered eating (DE) behaviors and associated cognitions. However, it is unclear how these outcomes are impacted by dietary restriction for religious purposes, such as fasting observed by Muslims during Ramadan. Using ecological momentary assessment, this study assessed the impact of Ramadan fasting on DE behaviors and correlates. Muslim participants fasting during Ramadan (n = 28) and a control group of non-fasting participants (n = 74) completed baseline measures assessing demographic characteristics and eating pathology. A mobile phone application then prompted participants six times per day for seven days to self-report on dietary restriction efforts, body satisfaction, temptation to eat unhealthily, feelings of guilt or shame following food, and DE behaviors including bingeing, vomiting, and other purging behaviors (use of laxatives, diuretics, or diet pills). After controlling for eating pathology, multilevel modeling indicated that, as expected, the Ramadan fasting group spent significantly more time restricting food intake than the non-fasting group. The Ramadan fasting group also experienced significantly greater temptation to eat unhealthily than their non-fasting counterparts. However, this difference disappeared once models were adjusted for differences in time spent restricting food intake. There were no other significant differences between the groups on any DE variables. These findings suggest that while dietary restriction for health or appearance-related reasons is a known contributor to DE, dietary restriction for religious purposes, such as that observed during the practice of Ramadan, may not confer increased risk of DE symptoms.
Article
Importance The existing literature on sexting among youth shows that sexting is a predictor of sexual behavior and may be associated with other health outcomes and risky behaviors. However, there remains a lack of consensus on the prevalence of sexting, which is needed to inform future research, intervention, and policy development. Objective To provide a meta-analytic synthesis of studies examining the prevalence of multiple forms of sexting behavior, analyzed by age, sex, geography, and method of sexting. Data Sources In an academic setting, electronic searches in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EMBASE, and Web of Science were conducted for the period January 1990 to June 2016, yielding 1147 nonduplicate records. Study Selection Studies were included if participants were younger than 18 years and the prevalence of sexting explicit images, videos, or messages was reported. Data Extraction and Synthesis Literature review and data extraction followed established PRISMA guidelines. Two independent reviewers extracted all relevant data. Random-effects meta-analyses were used to derive the mean prevalence rates. Thirty-nine studies met final inclusion criteria. Main Outcomes and Measures Meta-analyses of the prevalence of sending, receiving, and forwarding without consent, as well as having one’s sext forwarded without consent. Results Among 39 included studies, there were 110 380 participants; the mean age was 15.16 years (age range, 11.9-17.0 years), and on average 47.2% were male. Studies were available for sending (n = 34), receiving (n = 20), forwarding without consent (n = 5), and having a sext forwarded without consent (n = 4). The mean prevalences for sending and receiving sexts were 14.8% (95% CI, 12.8%-16.8%) and 27.4% (95% CI, 23.1%-31.7%), respectively. Moderator analyses revealed that effect sizes varied as a function of child age (prevalence increased with age), year of data collection (prevalence increased over time), and sexting method (higher prevalence on mobile devices compared with computers). The prevalence of forwarding a sext without consent was 12.0% (95% CI, 8.4%-15.6%), and the prevalence of having a sext forwarded without consent was 8.4% (95% CI, 4.7%-12.0%). Conclusions and Relevance The prevalence of sexting has increased in recent years and increases as youth age. Further research focusing on nonconsensual sexting is necessary to appropriately target and inform intervention, education, and policy efforts.
Article
Objective: Predictors of attrition and predictors and moderators of outcome were explored in a transdiagnostic sample of patients who received ten-session cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-T) for nonunderweight eating disorders. Body image flexibility, a protective positive body image construct, was hypothesized to be a significant moderator. Method: Data from two case series were combined to form a sample of 78 participants who received CBT-T. Baseline measures of body image, negative affect, personality, and motivation (readiness to change and self-efficacy) were included as potential predictors. Global eating disorder psychopathology at each assessment point (baseline, mid- and post-treatment, 1- and 3-month follow-up) was the outcome variable. Predictors of attrition were assessed using logistic regression, and multilevel modeling was applied for predictors and moderators of outcome. Results: Body image flexibility emerged as the strongest predictor and moderator of global eating disorder psychopathology, followed by body image avoidance. Body checking, negative affect, personality beliefs, and self-efficacy were significant predictors of global eating disorder psychopathology. Discussion: Higher body image flexibility predicted lower global eating disorder psychopathology at every assessment point. Further research is required to replicate findings and explore the benefit of focusing on positive body image in treatment.
Article
Scholars are divided as to whether sexting—an unprecedented sexual activity using digital media—is objectifying or sexually liberating. One notion is that sexting involves the representation of an individual’s sexuality in the presence of others and thus reinforces objectification. Another perspective contends that the self-portrayal of the body in sexting facilitates the exploration of sexual subjectivity and is, therefore, sexually liberating. By testing a model of sexting, objectified body consciousness (body surveillance, body shame, and body control beliefs), and comfort with nudity (indicator of sexual liberation) on 361 college students in Hong Kong, the current study revealed that, across genders, sexters demonstrated higher levels of body surveillance, body shame, and comfort with nudity than nonsexters. The results suggest that sexting is both sexually objectifying and liberating and that it has opened up a new sexual arena that combines sexual objectification and empowerment.
Article
Concerns about body shape are common among young women in Western cultures, and, in an extreme form, they constitute a central feature of the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. To date there has been no satisfactory measure of such concerns. A self-report instrument, the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ) has therefore been developed. The items that constitute this measure were derived by conducting semistructured interviews with various groups of women including patients with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The BSQ has been administered to three samples of young women in the community as well as to a group of patients with bulimia nervosa. The concurrent and discriminant validity of the measure have been shown to be good. The BSQ provides a means of investigating the role of concerns about body shape in the development, maintenance, and treatment of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Article
Little is known about sexting behaviours among young people living in African countries. This exploratory study investigated sexting behaviours among undergraduate students in Botswana (N = 309, 64.5% female; mean age = 20.3 years). Most participants (84.8%) had received sexts and many (61.8%) had sent sexts at least once in their lifetime. Reasons for sending sexts were to flirt (42.9%), to have fun (24.6%), and/or to initiate sexual activity (17.8%). Only 36.7% of the participants were worried about their sexts being forwarded to others, and 30.2% had forwarded sexts to others. Being sexually active (OR = 4.52), drinking alcohol (OR = 2.52), and having a mother with tertiary level education (OR = 0.40) emerged as significant predictors of sending sexts. Among participants who had sexual intercourse at least once in their lifetime (N = 164), an increase in the frequency of sexting was associated with an increase in the number of sexual partners and with sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs. However, sexting behaviours were not associated with unprotected sex. The results are compared with findings from Western countries and discussed with regard to public health care and safe sex education in Botswana.
Article
A low-intensity 4-week intervention that included components of compassion, mindfulness, and acceptance was delivered to women diagnosed with binge eating disorder. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 conditions: intervention (n = 11) or waiting list control (n = 9). Participants in the intervention condition were invited to practise mindfulness, soothing rhythm breathing, and compassionate imagery practices with a focus on awareness and acceptance of emotional states and triggers to binge eating and engagement in helpful actions. Results revealed that, in the intervention group, there were significant reductions in eating psychopathology symptoms, binge eating symptoms, self-criticism, and indicators of psychological distress; there were significant increases in compassionate actions and body image-related psychological flexibility. Data suggest that developing compassion and acceptance competencies may improve eating behaviour and psychological well-being in individuals with binge eating disorder. Key practitioner message A low-intensity 4-week intervention for BED was tested. The intervention included components of compassion, mindfulness, and acceptance. Results showed efficacy in reduced binge eating and eating psychopathology. Participants showed reductions in self-criticism and psychological distress. Participants increased in self-compassion and body image psychological flexibility.
Article
Our understanding of the prevalence, correlates, predictors, and outcomes of sexting is increasing; however, little is known about potential positive aspects of this emerging behavior, and whether the consequences of sexting vary by gender or relationship type (committed vs. casual). Using a sample of 352 undergraduate students (106 men, 246 women) the present study addresses this gap in the literature. Sixty-two percent of the participants reported that they had sent or received a sexually-explicit picture message. Of these, 56% reported that the sexting occurred with a committed partner, and 44% reported that it was with a casual partner. Men were significantly more likely to report sexting with a casual partner, while women were more likely to sext with a committed partner. Approximately half of young adults identified positive or inconsequential outcomes related to sexting; however, there were differences by relationship type and gender. For the most part, those who sexted with a casual partner identified fewer positive and more negative consequences than did those who sexted with a committed partner. Overall, findings point to the importance of considering individual and relationship characteristics in identifying and responding to teen and young adult sexting.
Article
Sexting and its potential links to sexual behavior, including risky sexual practices, have received scholarly scrutiny, but this literature is marked by divergent perspectives and disparate findings. To assess claims regarding the nature of the relationship between sexting and sexual behavior, we conducted a critical review of the literature and analyzed data from 15 articles via quantitative meta-analytic techniques. Sexting behavior was positively related to sexual activity, unprotected sex, and one's number of sexual partners, but the relationship was weak to moderate. Additional information, gleaned from a critical review of included studies, helped contextualize these findings and point to specific limitations and directions for future research.
Article
Depression and obesity frequently co-occur, but providing adequate treatment to depressed obese women is challenging because existing treatments for each problem in isolation are suboptimal, and treatments to address one problem may exacerbate the other. This study used an uncontrolled, pretreatment-to-posttreatment design, with 3-month follow-up, to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a novel, self-acceptance-based treatment for obese women with depression, "Accept Yourself!" Accept Yourself! is an 11-week manualized, group-based intervention that integrates Health At Every Size (an evidence-based paradigm to enhance physical health) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (an evidence-based psychotherapy often used to treat depression and eating-related concerns) to improve the physical and mental health of obese, depressed women without encouraging weight loss. Twenty-one obese women with Major Depressive Disorder received the intervention; 18 completed at least seven sessions, a minimal dose of the intervention. Depressive symptoms, depression diagnosis, physical health outcomes (including physical activity and blood pressure), and obesity-related quality of life were assessed at baseline, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Weight was also monitored. Depression, blood pressure, and obesity-related quality of life significantly improved from pretreatment to posttreatment, and improvements were sustained over a 3-month follow-up. Participants did not gain significant weight during the intervention or at follow-up. These data, although preliminary and nonexperimental, suggest that Accept Yourself! could be a promising treatment for obese, depressed women, and support the value of larger randomized controlled trials. (PsycINFO Database Record
Article
Although the influence of stable, trait-like factors (such as trait body dissatisfaction and appearance internalization) on instances of appearance comparison has been well documented, the additive and interactive influence of contextual factors (such as one’s current body satisfaction) on comparison behaviors is unknown. Therefore, the present study tested a Person x Situation model in which both state and trait body image variables interacted to predict engagement in various forms of comparison (upward, downward, and lateral). Participants included 161 women who completed a baseline measure of trait body dissatisfaction and internalization, and then completed, via an iPhone app, an ecological momentary assessment phase in which they reported momentary experiences of mood and comparison behaviors at up to 6 random times per day for 7 days. Multilevel analyses revealed that upward comparisons (comparisons against more attractive people) were more likely for individuals with heightened trait and/or state negative body image, but these predictive effects of state and trait on appearance comparisons appear largely independent of each other. Furthermore, neither state nor trait body image variables were related to the other forms of comparison, and time lag at the state-level between predictor and outcome did not seem to influence the strength of these associations. Present findings are consistent with the notion that how an individual feels in the moment about their appearance may influence engagement in deleterious appearance behaviors. However, further testing is needed to confirm these causal hypotheses.
Article
We examined the role of sexting coercion as a component of the intimate partner abuse (IPA) construct among young adults to determine whether sexting coercion would emerge alongside other forms of partner aggression as a cumulative risk factor for psychological, sexual, and attachment problems. In a sample of 885 undergraduates (301 men and 584 women), 40% had experienced some type of coercion. Although there was some overlap between sexual coercion and sexting coercion (21% of participants had experienced both), some individuals had experienced only sexting coercion (8%) and some only sexual coercion (11%). Women were more likely than men to be coerced into sexting. Both sexting coercion and sexual coercion were significantly and independently related to negative mental health symptoms, sexual problems, and attachment dysfunction, and, notably, sexting coercion was found to be a cumulative risk factor for nearly all of these negative effects. These data support the idea that digital sexual victimization is a new component of IPA polyvictimization, potentially increasing the negative effects experienced by victims of multiple forms of partner aggression.
Article
Binge eating disorder (BED), characterized by recurrent eating episodes in which individuals eat an objectively large amount of food within a short time period accompanied by a sense of loss of control, is the most common eating disorder. While existing treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), produce remission in a large percentage of individuals with BED, room for improvement in outcomes remains. Two reasons some patients may continue to experience binge eating after a course of treatment are: (a) Difficulty complying with the prescribed behavioral components of CBT due to the discomfort of implementing such strategies; and (b) a lack of focus in current treatments on strategies for coping with high levels of negative affect that often drive binge eating. To optimize treatment outcomes, it is therefore crucial to provide patients with strategies to overcome these issues. A small but growing body of research suggests that acceptance-based treatment approaches may be effective for the treatment of binge eating. The goal of the current paper is to describe the development of an acceptance-based group treatment for BED, discuss the structure of the manual and the rationale and challenges associated with integrating acceptance-based strategies into a CBT protocol, and to discuss clinical strategies for successfully implementing the intervention.
Article
A growing literature points to the role of body-image attitudes in human sexual functioning. Specifically, body dissatisfaction and excessive psychological investment in one's physical appearance may lead to physical self-consciousness and body exposure avoidance during sexual relations, which in turn may impair sexual desire, enjoyment, and performance. The present research with 145 college women and 118 college men evaluated a contextual body-image measure, the Body Exposure during Sexual Activities Questionnaire (BESAQ), which assesses anxious/avoidant body focus during sex. Findings supported the BESAQ's reliability and validity. Associations with sexual functioning were stronger for the BESAQ than for trait body-image measures. For both sexes, better sexual functioning was related to less anxious/avoidant body focus and stronger sexual self-schemas. Physical self-consciousness during sexual relations focused substantially on weight and gender-relevant attributes. Clinical and research implications of the findings are considered.
Article
Purging disorder (PD) is a new category of eating disorder, which is characterized by inappropriate compensatory behavior occurring in the absence of binging. There has been increasing evidence that acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) may be an effective treatment for individuals with a range of maladaptive disordered eating concerns, including purging. The present case report shows therapeutic processes, course, and outcomes of a Latina woman with PD who participated in 10 weekly individual sessions of ACT. The weekly average number of self-induced vomiting episodes was 5.0 at pretreatment, 1.1 during treatment, and 0 at both a 3-month follow-up and a 12-month follow-up. Additionally, body image flexibility, an open and flexible way of relating and responding to negative body image, increased throughout the course of treatment and continued to increase at follow-up. Implications for future research and clinical practice of ACT for PD are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Objective: We examined the effects of body, eating, and exercise social comparisons on prospective disordered eating thoughts and urges (i.e., restriction thoughts, exercise thoughts, vomiting thoughts, binge eating urges) and behaviors (i.e., restriction attempts, exercising for weight/shape reasons, vomiting, binge eating) among college women using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Method: Participants were 232 college women who completed a 2-week EMA protocol, in which they used their personal electronic devices to answer questions three times per day. Generalized estimating equation models were used to assess body, eating, and exercise comparisons as predictors of disordered eating thoughts, urges, and behaviors at the next report, adjusting for body dissatisfaction, negative affect, and the disordered eating thought/urge/behavior at the prior report, as well as body mass index. Results: Body comparisons prospectively predicted more intense levels of certain disordered eating thoughts (i.e., thoughts about restriction and exercise). Eating comparisons prospectively predicted an increased likelihood of subsequent engagement in all disordered eating behaviors examined except vomiting. Exercise comparisons prospectively predicted less-intense thoughts about exercise and an increased likelihood of subsequent vomiting. Discussion: Social comparisons are associated with later disordered eating thoughts and behaviors in the natural environment and may need to be specifically targeted in eating disorder prevention and intervention efforts. Targeting body comparisons may be helpful in terms of reducing disordered eating thoughts, but eating and exercise comparisons are also important and may need to be addressed in order to decrease engagement in actual disordered eating behaviors. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2015).
Article
In this study, we examined the relationships between sexting coercion, physical sex coercion, intimate partner violence, and mental health and trauma symptoms within a sample of 480 young adult undergraduates (160 men and 320 women). Approximately one fifth of the sample indicated that they had engaged in sexting when they did not want to. Those who had been coerced into sexting had usually been coerced by subtler tactics (e.g., repeated asking and being made to feel obligated) than more severe forms of coercion (e.g., physical threats). Nevertheless, the trauma related to these acts of coercion both at the time they occurred and now (looking back) were greater for sexting coercion than for physical sex coercion. Moreover, women noted significantly more trauma now (looking back) than at the time the events occurred for sexting coercion. Additionally, those who experienced more instances of sexting coercion also endorsed more symptoms of anxiety, depression, and generalized trauma. Finally, sexting coercion was related to both physical sex coercion and intimate partner violence, which suggests that sexting coercion may be a form of intimate partner violence, providing perpetrators with a new, digital route for physical and sexual covictimization.
Article
Although the objectification of women is widespread, there is relatively little research on objectification in romantic relationships. The purpose of our research was to explore how partner-objectification might be related to sexual pressure and coercion in heterosexual relationships. Two studies were conducted, one with heterosexual men and one with heterosexual women as participants. An online survey of 119 heterosexual men in the United States demonstrated that men who frequently survey their partners’ bodies are more likely to sexually pressure and coerce their partners—primarily because partner-surveillance is related to feelings of shame regarding one’s partner’s body, which in turn is related to increased sexual pressure and coercion. An online survey of 162 heterosexual women in the United States demonstrated feeling objectified by a partner is related to several (but not all) measures of sexual pressure and coercion. Furthermore, women who felt that their partners frequently surveyed their bodies were more likely to experience self-surveillance, which in turn predicted increased body shame and lowered sexual agency. Our research can inform interventions aimed at reducing sexual coercion and spark future research on the distinction between physical attraction and objectification in the context of romantic relationships.
Article
Acceptance and mindfulness components are increasingly incorporated into treatment for eating disorders with promising results. The development of measures of proposed change processes would facilitate ongoing scientific progress. The current series of studies evaluated one such instrument, the Body Image-Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (BI-AAQ), which was designed to measure body image flexibility. Study one focused on the generation and reduction of items for the BI-AAQ and a demonstration of construct validity. Body image flexibility was associated with increased psychological flexibility, decreased body image dissatisfaction, and less disordered eating. Study two demonstrated adequate internal consistency and test–retest reliability of BI-AAQ. Study three extended findings related to structural and construct validity, and demonstrated an indirect effect of body image dissatisfaction on disordered eating via body image flexibility. Research and clinical utility of the BI-AAQ are discussed. The BI-AAQ is proposed as a measure of body image flexibility, a potential change process in acceptance-oriented treatments of eating disorders.
Article
The timing (spacing) of assessments is an important component of longitudinal research. The purpose of the present study is to determine methods of timing the collection of longitudinal data that provide better parameter recovery in mixed effects nonlinear growth modeling. A simulation study was conducted, varying function type, as well as the number of measurement occasions, in order to examine the effect of timing on the accuracy and efficiency of parameter estimates. The number of measurement occasions was associated with greater efficiency for all functional forms and was associated with greater accuracy for the intrinsically nonlinear functions. In general, concentrating measurement occasions toward the left or at the extremes was associated with increased efficiency when estimating the intercepts of intrinsically linear functions, and concentrating values where the curvature of the function was greatest generally resulted in the best recovery for intrinsically nonlinear functions. Results from this study can be used in conjunction with theory to improve the design of longitudinal research studies. In addition, an R program is provided for researchers to run customized simulations to identify optimal sampling schedules for their own research.
Article
Restrictive dieting is an increasing behavior presented by women in modern societies, independently of their weight. There are several known factors that motivate diet, namely a sense of dissatisfaction with one's body and unfavorable social comparisons based on physical appearance. However, dieting seems to have a paradoxical effect and has been considered a risk factor for weight gain and obesity in women and for maladaptive eating. Nevertheless, the study of the emotional regulation processes that explain the adoption of inflexible and rigid eating behaviors still remains little explored. In this line, the present study aims to explore why normal-weight women engage in highly rigid and inflexible diets. We hypothesize that body and weight dissatisfaction and unfavorable social comparisons based on physical appearance explain the adoption of inflexible eating rules, through the mechanisms of body image inflexibility. The current study comprised 508 normal-weight female college students. Path analyses were conducted to explore the study's hypotheses. Results revealed that the model explained 43 % of inflexible eating and revealed excellent fit indices. Furthermore, the unwillingness to experience unwanted events related to body image (body image inflexibility) mediated the impact of body dissatisfaction and unfavorable social comparisons on the adoption of inflexible eating rules. This study highlights the relevance of body image inflexibility to explain rigid eating attitudes, and it seems to be an important avenue for the development of interventions focusing on the promotion of adaptive attitudes towards body image and eating in young women.
Article
The consistent use of condoms is the most effective behavior for reducing the acquisition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and condom use self-efficacy has been shown to be a key construct related to condom use. However, the examination of modifiable psychosocial and behavioral correlates of condom use self-efficacy is lacking. Recent investigations have highlighted the association of body dissatisfaction with condom use self-efficacy, and the current study conducted a meta-analysis on all available data addressing this relationship. Eleven individual effect-size parameters from nine studies yielded a total sample of 2495 men and women participants. A random-effects model revealed an average effect-size of r=-.25, Cohen's d=-0.52, which is moderate in strength. As body dissatisfaction increases, ones' self-efficacy regarding the use of condoms diminishes. Integrating interventions to decrease body dissatisfaction and sexual risk behaviors may prove to be an effective strategy to decrease STIs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
This study investigated the roles of indicators of the self-objectification process in women's condom use self-efficacy. Data were collected from 595 college women. Self-objectification variables were assessed with measures of internalization of cultural standards of beauty, body surveillance, and body shame. Participants also completed measures of perceived control over sexual activity, acceptance of sexuality, and condom use self-efficacy. Measurement and structural invariance were supported, indicating that the measurement model and hypothesized structural model did not differ across participants who were or were not sexually active. Structural equation modeling results were consistent with hypotheses and prior evidence indicating that body surveillance partially mediated the link between internalization of cultural standards of beauty and body shame. Results also indicated that body shame was associated with lower condom use self-efficacy both directly and indirectly through the partial mediation of perceived control over sexual activity; acceptance of sexuality was not a significant mediator of this link but was associated directly with greater condom use self-efficacy. These results connect the substantial literature on the self-objectification process with women's condom use self-efficacy. Specifically, these results point to interrupting the self-objectification process and reducing body shame as well as to enhancing acceptance of sexuality and control over sexual activity as potentially fruitful targets for interventions to promote women's condom use self-efficacy.
Article
Questions about variability and change in human behavior lie at the heart of much research in the behavioral sciences. This commentary examines the use of the measurement-burst design (Nesselroade, 1991) as an approach to study within-person processes that transpire over very different temporal intervals. Consisting of repeated bursts of intensive (i.e., daily or momentary) assessments, the burst design can augment the type of information obtained from conventional daily diary and prospective longitudinal designs. We describe how the measurement-burst approach can improve detection of long-term intraindividual change, and how it can be used to study intraindividual variability and change in fine-grained temporal relationships between daily experiences (e.g., hassles) and psychological states (e.g., mood). Some of the difficulties of implementing and analyzing data from measurement-burst designs are discussed.
Article
ObjectiveA growing body of research seeks to understand the relationship between mood and eating behaviors. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) methods provide a method for assessing these processes in natural settings. We used EMA to examine the relationship between mood and eating behaviors in everyday life among women with subclinical disordered eating behaviors.Method Participants (N = 127, age M = 19.6 years, BMI M = 25.5) completed five daily EMA reports on palmtop computers for 1 week. Assessments included measures of negative affect (NA) and eating-related behavior during eating (eating large amounts of food, loss of control over eating, and restricting food intake) and noneating episodes (skip eating to control weight/shape). Time-lagged multilevel models tested mood–eating behavior relationships.ResultsHigher NA did not precede any unhealthy eating and weight control behaviors. However, NA was higher when women reported eating large quantities of food, losing control over eating, and restricting food intake during their most recent eating episode, but not after skipping eating to control weight/shape.DiscussionThese findings elucidate the processes in daily life that may influence the development and maintenance of unhealthy eating and weight control behaviors that, in turn, can inform interventions. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014)