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Motivational processes associated with unhealthy body change attitudes and behaviours

journal contribution
posted on 2007-08-01, 00:00 authored by Alexander MussapAlexander Mussap
Objective
The relationship between approach–avoidance motivational processes and unhealthy body change attitudes and behaviours was investigated.
Method
Self-reported sensitivity to rewards (SR) and sensitivity to punishments (SP) were measured for a convenience sample of 130 women, aged 18 to 40 years, along with measures of disordered eating symptomatology and exercise dependence.
Results
Together, SR and SP significantly predicted variance in drive for thinness (21%), bulimia (17%), and obligatory exercise (7%). These relationships were partly mediated by internalization of the thin ideal, body comparison, and subjective importance of achieving one's ‘ideal’ body and of avoiding one's ‘worst possible’ body. Interestingly, body dissatisfaction partly mediated the relationships involving SP but not SR.
Discussion
The results suggest that an underlying sensitivity to punishments, but not rewards, can manifest as a ‘fear of fatness’. Both of these motivational traits can increase the salience of self evaluations, and thus indirectly contribute to unhealthy body change attitudes and behaviours.

History

Journal

Eating behaviors

Volume

8

Issue

3

Pagination

423 - 428

Publisher

Elsevier Inc.

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

1471-0153

eISSN

1873-7358

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2006, Elselvier Inc.

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