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Body Image. 2016 Dec;19:49-56. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.08.005. Epub 2016 Sep 8.

Parental bonds and body dissatisfaction in a clinical sample: The mediating roles of attachment anxiety and media internalization.

Author information

1
School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, 75 Laurier Ave. E, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada.
2
School of Psychology and Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa, 75 Laurier Ave. E, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada. Electronic address: gtasca@uottawa.ca.
3
Department of Psychology, The Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Rd., Ottawa, ON K1G 0H9, Canada.
4
Department of Psychiatry, The Ottawa Hospital, 501 Smyth Rd., Ottawa, ON K1G 0H9, Canada.

Abstract

We evaluated an attachment theory model in which mother and father care were hypothesized to be indirectly related to body dissatisfaction mediated by attachment anxiety and media internalization. Participants were 232 women diagnosed with an eating disorder who completed a retrospective measure of parental bonds, and measures of attachment anxiety, media internalization, and body image. Mother care was negatively associated with body dissatisfaction, suggesting that recollection of mothers as less caring was directly related to poorer body image. Lower father care, was indirectly associated with greater body dissatisfaction mediated by higher attachment anxiety and higher media internalization. That is, women with an eating disorder who recollected fathers as less caring had higher attachment anxiety, which was related to greater internalizing of media-related thin ideals, that in turn was associated with poorer body image. Mothers and fathers may impact body dissatisfaction by differing mechanisms in clinical samples.

KEYWORDS:

Attachment; Body image; Eating disorders; Media internalization; Parental bonds

PMID:
27614193
DOI:
10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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