PERCEPTUAL BODY DISTORTION AND BODY DISSATISFACTION: A STUDY USING ADJUSTABLE PARTIAL IMAGE DISTORTION

  • Davide Massidda
  • Alessia Bastianelli
  • Giulio Vidotto

Abstract

The body image disturbance consists of two components (Garner & Garfinkel, 1981): perceptual disturbance and body dissatisfaction, which may operate independently or together. Previous studies show that the pressure to be thin from one’s social environment increases body dissatisfaction, leading the individuals to be discontent with their physical appearance (Striegel- Moore, Silberstein, & Rodin, 1986); the perceived pressure to be thin predicts subsequent increases in body dissatisfaction (Stice & Bearman, 2001), constituting a risk factor for the development of eating disorders. In this research we analyze the body perception, the body dissatisfaction and the social environment influence on forty-seven students. Results show that participants tend to see their body as larger than real and to desire their body smaller than real, but different body parts can be differently affected by these judgments. Furthermore, the body dissatisfaction appears to be influenced by both the social influence and the body mass: the body dissatisfaction increases accordingly with these components, and the desire to change own body is reflected in body dissatisfaction.

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