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Eat Behav. 2011 Dec;12(4):302-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Objectified body consciousness in relation to recovery from an eating disorder.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of Psychology, CB#3270-Davie Hall, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, United States.


In Western society, the feminine body has been positioned as an object to be looked at and sexually gazed upon; thus, females often learn to view themselves as objects to be observed (i.e., objectified body consciousness (OBC)). This study examined the relation between OBC and eating disorder recovery by comparing its components across non-eating disorder controls, fully recovered, partially recovered, and active eating disorder cases. Results revealed that non-eating disorder controls and fully recovered individuals had similarly low levels of two components of OBC, body surveillance and body shame. Partially recovered individuals looked more similar to those with an active eating disorder on these constructs. The third component of OBC, control beliefs, and a conceptually similar construct, weight/shape self-efficacy, did not differ across groups. Results provide support for the importance of measuring aspects of self-objectification, particularly body surveillance and body shame, across the course of an eating disorder.

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