Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-16-2016

Comments

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Mental Health, Religion & Culture on March 16, 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13674676.2015.1124634.

Abstract

Women who base their self-worth on appearance or others’ approval are especially vulnerable to low body esteem when they view media images of thin models. We explored one way religion might mitigate the harmful media effects in these women. We tested whether basing self-worth on appearance or others’ approval was positively related to body comparisons and body surveillance. We tested whether reading religious body-affirming statements enhanced feelings of being loved, which would increase body esteem in women who base self-worth on appearance or others’ approval. This experiment manipulated the type of body-affirming statements (religious, spiritual, control) and assessed women’s body esteem before and after they viewed thin models. Results showed basing self-worth on appearance or others’ approval was positively related to body comparisons and surveillance. Furthermore, reading religious body-affirmations increased feeling loved, which in turn increased weight esteem in women who based self-worth on appearance or others’ approval.

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