BODY DISSATISFACTION: DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! AN EVALUATION OF THE ACCEPTABILITY AND UTILITY OF TWO STRATEGIES PUTTING BODY DISSATISFACTION INTO DESCRIPTIVE CONTEXTS

Suzanne Bourchier (2010). BODY DISSATISFACTION: DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! AN EVALUATION OF THE ACCEPTABILITY AND UTILITY OF TWO STRATEGIES PUTTING BODY DISSATISFACTION INTO DESCRIPTIVE CONTEXTS Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Suzanne Bourchier
Thesis Title BODY DISSATISFACTION: DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! AN EVALUATION OF THE ACCEPTABILITY AND UTILITY OF TWO STRATEGIES PUTTING BODY DISSATISFACTION INTO DESCRIPTIVE CONTEXTS
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Sheffield, Jeanie K.
Total pages 143
Abstract/Summary The high prevalence and damaging consequences of body dissatisfaction, including its association with eating disorders, depression, stress and anxiety, are widely reported. Associated feelings of low self-worth cause considerable and well-documented distress, particularly to young women, the focus of the current study. To date, most interventions to reduce body dissatisfaction have assumed an intrinsic, static and schema-related 'faultiness' in those with body dissatisfaction. Two approaches, presented for evaluation in this study, aimed to relocate the body dissatisfaction issue away from the personal, to contexts where it could be understood as a mutable, context-dependent construct. The two approaches were mindfulness (Mindfulness strategy) and media literacy with a social constructionist feminist perspective (CML strategy), designed to be accessible to large populations. They were presented as written materials to 73 young women, who read them and evaluated them for acceptability and perceived usefulness in addressing body dissatisfaction. Participants were first assessed, using self-report measures of body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, depression, anxiety, stress, self-esteem, selfcompassion, life satisfaction, mindful awareness, and autonomy. They then evaluated the two strategies in a survey. Mindfulness was chosen for perceived effectiveness and acceptability by 68.6% of the sample, with CML chosen by the remainder. CML was endorsed by 65% of the sample as a preventative strategy for young adolescents. The Mindfulness group was higher in depression than the CML group, and the CML group higher in weight concern, but the two groups did not vary on other variables. Previous knowledge of mindfulness or meditation did not influence participants' choice of strategy but knowledge of media literacy was found to deter participants from choosing CML. Body esteem was found to be highly correlated with life satisfaction in the sample.

 
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