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Body Image. 2014 Sep;11(4):446-53. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.07.005. Epub 2014 Aug 9.

Self-compassion moderates the relationship between body mass index and both eating disorder pathology and body image flexibility.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada. Electronic address: allison.kelly@uwaterloo.ca.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada. Electronic address: kvimalak@uwaterloo.ca.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada. Electronic address: k24mille@uwaterloo.ca.

Abstract

The current study examined whether self-compassion, the tendency to treat oneself kindly during distress and disappointments, would attenuate the positive relationship between body mass index (BMI) and eating disorder pathology, and the negative relationship between BMI and body image flexibility. One-hundred and fifty-three female undergraduate students completed measures of self-compassion, self-esteem, eating disorder pathology, and body image flexibility, which refers to one's acceptance of negative body image experiences. Controlling for self-esteem, hierarchical regressions revealed that self-compassion moderated the relationships between BMI and the criteria. Specifically, the positive relationship between BMI and eating disorder pathology and the negative relationship between BMI and body image flexibility were weaker the higher women's levels of self-compassion. Among young women, self-compassion may help to protect against the greater eating disturbances that coincide with a higher BMI, and may facilitate the positive body image experiences that tend to be lower the higher one's BMI.

KEYWORDS:

Body image flexibility; Body mass index; Eating disorders; Self-compassion; Self-esteem

PMID:
25113286
DOI:
10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.07.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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