Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Body Image and Eating Behaviours in Young Adult Women

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Grixti, Lucianne and Kostanski, Marion (2004) Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Body Image and Eating Behaviours in Young Adult Women. In: Psychological science in action : Proceedings of the 39th APS Annual Conference 29 September-3 October 2004, Sydney N.S.W. Katsikitis, Mary, ed. Australian Psychological Society , Melbourne, Vic., pp. 123-127.


Research examining the relationship between self-esteem, body image attitudes and eating behaviours remains unclear. Some argue that this lack of clarity is due to the non-specificity involved in measurement of self-esteem in relation to body attitudes and eating behaviours. The current study addresses this issue by exploring the relationship between self-esteem and specific contingencies of self-worth to body image dissatisfaction and dysfunctional eating behaviours in a non-clinical sample of 59 young adult females (age range 21 to 35 years; M = 25, SD = 4.3). The findings indicate that there is a strong positive relationship between external contingencies of self-worth and global self-esteem as measured by the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale. Moreover, those women who have a high investment in external contingencies of self-worth reported higher levels of body-image dissatisfaction and dysfunctional eating behaviours than those with a low investment in these contingencies. The findings suggest that reducing one's over investment in aspects of self-worth that are driven by external factors is more relevant than attempting to boost overall self-esteem, in reducing vulnerability to socio-cultural influences. Further research, exploring the conceptual underpinnings of the construct of self-esteem in relation to body image and eating behaviours is recommended.

Item type Book Section
ISBN 0909881251
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 2002 Cultural Studies
Historical > FOR Classification > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords ResPubID7902, disfunctional eating behaviour, DEB, personality, body image dissatisfaction, BID, weight, dieting, normative discontent, vulnerability, appearance, self-consciousness, moral behavior, socio-cultural influence, approval, body mass index, BMI
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