Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 705–718 | Cite as

Associations Between Women’s Body Image and Happiness: Results of the Body Image Survey (YBIS)

  • Viren SwamiEmail author
  • Ulrich S. Tran
  • Stefan Stieger
  • Martin Voracek
  • The Team
Research Paper


Studies that have examined associations between body image and well-being have used limited measures of the former or have utilised small convenience samples. Here, we report on data from 9,667 Western women (US residents n = 8,925, non-US residents n = 742) who completed the online YouBeauty Body Image Survey. Respondents completed measures of weight-based body dissatisfaction, body appreciation, and subjective happiness, and provided demographic data including their education, age, and body mass index (BMI). Preliminary analyses indicated that 89.0 % of women evidenced weight-based body dissatisfaction, with the majority (84.1 %) wanting to be thinner. Path analysis showed that body appreciation positively predicted subjective happiness. BMI was negatively associated with body appreciation, but showed a direct positive association associated with subjective happiness. Controlling for BMI, body dissatisfaction had no significant association with subjective happiness. In addition, older and non-US respondents had higher body appreciation. Implications of the present results for intervention studies aimed at promoting healthier body image are discussed in conclusion.


Body image Body appreciation Body dissatisfaction Happiness Body mass index 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viren Swami
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ulrich S. Tran
    • 3
  • Stefan Stieger
    • 3
  • Martin Voracek
    • 3
  • The Team
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WestminsterLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyHELP University CollegeKuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Basic Psychological Research and Research Methods, School of PsychologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.YouBeauty.comNew YorkUSA

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