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Body Image. 2014 Sep;11(4):391-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.06.008. Epub 2014 Jul 12.

Victimization, social anxiety, and body dysmorphic concerns: appearance-based rejection sensitivity as a mediator.

Author information

  • 1School of Applied Psychology & Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Australia. Electronic address: cassie.lavell@griffithuni.edu.au.
  • 2School of Applied Psychology & Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Australia.

Abstract

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is characterized by extreme preoccupation with perceived deficits in physical appearance, and sufferers experience severe impairment in functioning. Previous research has indicated that individuals with BDD are high in social anxiety, and often report being the victims of appearance-based teasing. However, there is little research into the possible mechanisms that might explain these relationships. The current study examined appearance-based rejection sensitivity as a mediator between perceived appearance-based victimization, social anxiety, and body dysmorphic symptoms in a sample of 237 Australian undergraduate psychology students. Appearance-based rejection sensitivity fully mediated the relationship between appearance-based victimization and body dysmorphic symptoms, and partially mediated the relationship between social anxiety and body dysmorphic symptoms. Findings suggest that individuals high in social anxiety or those who have a history of more appearance-based victimization may have a bias towards interpreting further appearance-based rejection, which may contribute to extreme appearance concerns such as BDD.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Appearance-based rejection sensitivity; Appearance-based victimization; Body dysmorphic disorder; Social anxiety

PMID:
25023480
[PubMed - in process]
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