Deakin University

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State body dissatisfaction and social interactions : an experience sampling study

journal contribution
posted on 2014-12-01, 00:00 authored by Jacqueline Mills, Matthew Fuller-TyszkiewiczMatthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Millicent Holmes
To date, there has been limited empirical scrutiny of the correlates and consequences of day-to-day state body dissatisfaction fluctuations within naturalistic contexts. We used ecological momentary assessment (a form of naturalistic observation) to evaluate whether state body dissatisfaction was concurrently and/or prospectively associated with occurrence and quality of social interactions. Women (N = 121), aged 18 to 40, completed a brief trait-based survey and then nominated a 7-day period within which to receive seven text messages daily, at random intervals, prompting them to complete measures of body dissatisfaction at that moment. If they were currently or had recently engaged in social interactions, they were also asked to fill out questions rating the quality of these interactions (operationalized in terms of enjoyment of, and control in, the interaction). Findings suggest that the relationship between state body dissatisfaction and aspects of social interactions is complex and may vary over time. Cross-sectionally, state body dissatisfaction and social interaction quality were negatively associated. Prospectively, however, body dissatisfaction predicted subsequent avoidance of social interactions. Interestingly, when women chose to avoid social interactions, their body dissatisfaction worsened, yet when they did engage in social interactions, they reported improved body satisfaction. Importantly, the links between state body dissatisfaction and social interactions may be moderated by body mass index and trait body satisfaction levels. Potential mechanisms underlying the association between state body dissatisfaction and quality and quantity of social interactions are discussed, and future research avenues are proposed to further understand their inter-relation.



Psychology of women quarterly






551 - 562




Thousand Oaks, California





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2014, Sage Publications