No body is perfect: The significance of habitual negative thinking about appearance for body dissatisfaction, eating disorder propensity, self-esteem, and snacking

Bas Verplanken, Y Tangelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thinking negatively about one's appearance may be a major source of unhappiness. It was investigated whether the habitual quality of negative body image thinking constitutes an additional vulnerability factor, i.e. when such thinking is repetitive and automatic. The cognitive content of negative body image thinking (‘what’) was distinguished from the habitual occurrence of such thinking (‘how’). The mental habit component uniquely predicted explicit as well as implicit body dissatisfaction (the latter measured by an implicit association test) over and above cognitive content. Mental habit also accounted for eating disturbance propensity, low self-esteem and restrained snacking behaviour over and above cognitive content, even when controlled for body dissatisfaction. The habitual component of negative thinking about appearance thus seems a significant body image construct, has discriminant validity against body dissatisfaction, and constitutes a vulnerability factor for feelings of low self-worth and eating disturbance propensity. Implications for intervention strategies, such as mindfulness-based approaches, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-701
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology and Health
Volume26
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Snacks
Self Concept
Body Image
Habits
Eating
Mindfulness
Emotions
Pessimism
Feeding and Eating Disorders
Thinking

Cite this

@article{f614aa784aab4465bfa0236d70d021cb,
title = "No body is perfect: The significance of habitual negative thinking about appearance for body dissatisfaction, eating disorder propensity, self-esteem, and snacking",
abstract = "Thinking negatively about one's appearance may be a major source of unhappiness. It was investigated whether the habitual quality of negative body image thinking constitutes an additional vulnerability factor, i.e. when such thinking is repetitive and automatic. The cognitive content of negative body image thinking (‘what’) was distinguished from the habitual occurrence of such thinking (‘how’). The mental habit component uniquely predicted explicit as well as implicit body dissatisfaction (the latter measured by an implicit association test) over and above cognitive content. Mental habit also accounted for eating disturbance propensity, low self-esteem and restrained snacking behaviour over and above cognitive content, even when controlled for body dissatisfaction. The habitual component of negative thinking about appearance thus seems a significant body image construct, has discriminant validity against body dissatisfaction, and constitutes a vulnerability factor for feelings of low self-worth and eating disturbance propensity. Implications for intervention strategies, such as mindfulness-based approaches, are discussed.",
author = "Bas Verplanken and Y Tangelder",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1080/08870441003763246",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "685--701",
journal = "Psychology and Health",
issn = "0887-0446",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - No body is perfect: The significance of habitual negative thinking about appearance for body dissatisfaction, eating disorder propensity, self-esteem, and snacking

AU - Verplanken, Bas

AU - Tangelder, Y

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - Thinking negatively about one's appearance may be a major source of unhappiness. It was investigated whether the habitual quality of negative body image thinking constitutes an additional vulnerability factor, i.e. when such thinking is repetitive and automatic. The cognitive content of negative body image thinking (‘what’) was distinguished from the habitual occurrence of such thinking (‘how’). The mental habit component uniquely predicted explicit as well as implicit body dissatisfaction (the latter measured by an implicit association test) over and above cognitive content. Mental habit also accounted for eating disturbance propensity, low self-esteem and restrained snacking behaviour over and above cognitive content, even when controlled for body dissatisfaction. The habitual component of negative thinking about appearance thus seems a significant body image construct, has discriminant validity against body dissatisfaction, and constitutes a vulnerability factor for feelings of low self-worth and eating disturbance propensity. Implications for intervention strategies, such as mindfulness-based approaches, are discussed.

AB - Thinking negatively about one's appearance may be a major source of unhappiness. It was investigated whether the habitual quality of negative body image thinking constitutes an additional vulnerability factor, i.e. when such thinking is repetitive and automatic. The cognitive content of negative body image thinking (‘what’) was distinguished from the habitual occurrence of such thinking (‘how’). The mental habit component uniquely predicted explicit as well as implicit body dissatisfaction (the latter measured by an implicit association test) over and above cognitive content. Mental habit also accounted for eating disturbance propensity, low self-esteem and restrained snacking behaviour over and above cognitive content, even when controlled for body dissatisfaction. The habitual component of negative thinking about appearance thus seems a significant body image construct, has discriminant validity against body dissatisfaction, and constitutes a vulnerability factor for feelings of low self-worth and eating disturbance propensity. Implications for intervention strategies, such as mindfulness-based approaches, are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80051645751&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08870441003763246

U2 - 10.1080/08870441003763246

DO - 10.1080/08870441003763246

M3 - Article

VL - 26

SP - 685

EP - 701

JO - Psychology and Health

JF - Psychology and Health

SN - 0887-0446

IS - 6

ER -