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Int J Eat Disord. 1999 Jul;26(1):81-5.

Marital status, marital satisfaction, and body image dissatisfaction.

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Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8205, USA.



This study examined whether married individuals have comparable body image disturbance to nonmarried individuals and whether the quality of a marital relationship is significantly related to body image disturbance in a sample of dieters.


Measures of marital status, marital satisfaction, and body dissatisfaction were administered to a sample of 16,377 subjects who had tried to lose weight at least once within the previous 3 years.


Marital status was not associated with increased body dissatisfaction. Marital satisfaction was significantly related to body dissatisfaction when controlling for age, body mass index, self-esteem, and gender.


Body dissatisfaction occurs at comparable levels among married and single individuals and the study of marital functioning among eating-disordered individuals represents a large gap in the literature.

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