Size does matter: Perceptual distortion of body size in females and the relationship between BMI, depression and body dissatisfaction

Peta Berenice Stapleton, Samantha Farr, Mahima Kalla

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Body dissatisfaction research has primarily focused on either young children or adolescent populations and individuals with clinical eating disorders. The relationship between body dissatisfaction and lifestyle behaviors has been demonstrated, however this link has only been explored in adolescents. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between BMI, depression, anxiety, stress and lifestyle behaviors in levels of body dissatisfaction and perceptual distortion in female adults (N = 121). Depression was found to be a significant predictor of body dissatisfaction, however body dissatisfaction was not affected by BMI, anxiety or stress. Lifestyle behaviors did not significantly predict body dissatisfaction levels. Perceptual distortion was found to exist in a high proportion of females (81.8%). This study suggests that depression is a predictor of body dissatisfaction. These findings will assist in the treatment of body dissatisfaction in females.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalInternational Journal of Healing and Caring
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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