Motivational processes associated with unhealthy body change attitudes and behaviours

Mussap, Alexander Julien 2007, Motivational processes associated with unhealthy body change attitudes and behaviours, Eating behaviors, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 423-428, doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2006.12.001.

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Title Motivational processes associated with unhealthy body change attitudes and behaviours
Author(s) Mussap, Alexander JulienORCID iD for Mussap, Alexander Julien
Journal name Eating behaviors
Volume number 8
Issue number 3
Start page 423
End page 428
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2007-08
ISSN 1471-0153
Keyword(s) reinforcement sensitivity theory
unhealthy body change
punishment sensitivity
disordered eating
reward sensitivity
Summary Objective
The relationship between approach–avoidance motivational processes and unhealthy body change attitudes and behaviours was investigated.
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.
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.
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.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2006.12.001
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Elselvier Inc.
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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