A Randomized Controlled Trial of Brief Interventions for Body Dissatisfaction

Tracey Wade, Wing Man George, Melissa Atkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (SciVal)


The authors examined the relative effectiveness of 3 different approaches to the experience of body dissatisfaction compared to a control and ruminative attention control condition, with respect to increasing weight and appearance satisfaction. One hundred female undergraduates (mean age = 24.38, SD = 9.39) underwent a body dissatisfaction induction procedure, which significantly decreased levels of weight and appearance satisfaction. Participants were then randomized, 20 to each of 5 groups: control, ruminative attention control acceptance, distraction, and cognitive dissonance. With the exception of the control group, participants were briefly trained in their assigned technique and were asked to practice this over the next 5 min while repeated measures of weight and appearance satisfaction were recorded. Acceptance, cognitive dissonance, and distraction were superior to both control conditions in increasing weight satisfaction and were superior to a control condition in improving appearance satisfaction. Only acceptance was superior in improving appearance satisfaction compared to a ruminative attention control. The evidence suggests that acceptance is a promising approach to investigate further with respect to its efficacy for reducing body dissatisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-854
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • acceptance
  • body dissatisfaction
  • cognitive dissonance
  • distraction
  • ruminative attention control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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