Mediators of the relationship between thin-ideal internalization and body dissatisfaction in the natural environment

Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, Anna M. Bardone-Cone, Ross D. Crosby, Scott G. Engel, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Cynthia M. Bulik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social comparisons (i.e., body, eating, exercise) and body surveillance were tested as mediators of the thin-ideal internalization-body dissatisfaction relationship using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Participants were 232 college women who completed a 2-week EMA protocol, responding to questions three times per day. Multilevel path analysis was used to examine a 2-1-1 mediation model (thin-ideal internalization assessed as trait; between-person effects examined) and a 1-1-1 model (component of thin-ideal internalization [thin-ideal importance] assessed momentarily; within- and between-person effects examined). For the 2-1-1 model, only body comparison and body surveillance were significant specific mediators of the between-person effect. For the 1-1-1 model, all four variables were significant specific mediators of the within-person effect. Only body comparison was a significant specific mediator of the between-person effect. At the state level, many processes explain the thin-ideal internalization-body dissatisfaction relationship. However, at the trait level, body comparison and body surveillance are more important explanatory factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalBody Image
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body surveillance
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Objectification
  • Social comparison
  • Thin-ideal internalization

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