AN EXPLORATION OF SOCIOCULTURAL PREDICTORS OF BODY IMAGE DISSATISFACTION IN MALES AND FEMALES
Thompson, T., Burton-Smith, R., Dill, R., University of Tasmania, Australia and Dinnel, D., Western Washington University, USA
In this investigation, we developed a domain-specific measure of body image guilt and shame, the 'BIGSS' (Study 1) in order to explore gender differences in the prediction of body image dissatisfaction (Study 2). In Study 1, in addition to the BIGSS and the Test of Self-conscious Affect (the 'TOSCA'), we administered scales assessing body image concern and importance, social physique anxiety, and personal and social identity. Factor analysis indicated a two-factor solution reflecting guilt and shame as the most parsimonious explanation of the data. In Study 2, we investigated the respective roles of externally mediated variables (body image shame, social physique anxiety, Social Identity orientation, and Collective Identity orientation), and internally mediated variables (body image importance, body image guilt, Personal Identity orientation) in the prediction of body image dissatisfaction. Undergraduate students (N=87 women, N=66 men) completed measures that operationalised these variables. For both men and women, externally mediated factors contributed significantly to the prediction of body dissatisfaction. However for each gender group, only social physique anxiety contributed significantly to the variability in body dissatisfaction scores, accounting for almost twice the variance for women relative to men. For women only, internally mediated factors contributed significantly to the variability in body dissatisfaction, attributable to a single factor, body image guilt. We suggest these findings clarify the contributions of internally and externally mediated factors in the prediction of body image dissatisfaction, highlighting women's greater vulnerability to sociocultural influences.