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Body Image. 2017 Dec;23:176-182. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.10.004. Epub 2017 Oct 19.

Exploring the relationship between appearance-contingent self-worth and self-esteem: The roles of self-objectification and appearance anxiety.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 3rd St., West Lafayette, United States. Electronic address: adams213@purdue.edu.
2
Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 3rd St., West Lafayette, United States. Electronic address: tyler@purdue.edu.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada. Electronic address: r.caloger@uwo.ca.
4
Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, 703 3rd St., West Lafayette, United States. Electronic address: jl3453@cornell.edu.

Abstract

Previous work has shown that both an appearance-contingent self-worth (i.e., staking one's overall self-evaluation on one's physical appearance) and self-objectification are associated with higher appearance anxiety and lower self-esteem among women. Although prior evidence separately links both appearance-contingent self-worth and self-objectification to these negative outcomes, no work has examined the mediating processes that may underlie this relationship. With the current project, we examined the relationship between appearance-contingent self-worth and self-objectification, and the degree to which this relationship is associated with higher appearance anxiety and lower overall self-esteem. We hypothesized that appearance-contingent self-worth would be positively associated with self-objectification; in turn, we expected self-objectification to be related to higher appearance anxiety, and ultimately, lower self-esteem. Across two studies, one cross-sectional (N=208) and one short-term longitudinal (N=191), we found compelling support for this hypothesis. These findings have practical and theoretical significance for both the self-objectification and contingent self-worth literatures.

KEYWORDS:

Appearance anxiety; Appearance contingent self-worth; Self-esteem; Self-objectification

PMID:
29055772
DOI:
10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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