Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 1808–1828 | Cite as

Body Covering and Body Image: A Comparison of Veiled and Unveiled Muslim Women, Christian Women, and Atheist Women Regarding Body Checking, Body Dissatisfaction, and Eating Disorder Symptoms

  • Leonie Wilhelm
  • Andrea S. Hartmann
  • Julia C. Becker
  • Melahat Kişi
  • Manuel Waldorf
  • Silja Vocks
Original Paper


Although Islam is the fastest growing religion worldwide, only few studies have investigated body image in Muslim women, and no study has investigated body checking. Therefore, the present study examined whether body image, body checking, and disordered eating differ between veiled and unveiled Muslim women, Christian women, and atheist women. While the groups did not differ regarding body dissatisfaction, unveiled Muslim women reported more checking than veiled Muslim and Christian women, and higher bulimia scores than Christian. Thus, prevention against eating disorders should integrate all women, irrespective of religious affiliation or veiling, with a particular focus on unveiled Muslim women.


Religiosity Islam Veiling Body image Body checking 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyUniversität OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany
  2. 2.Department of Social PsychologyUniversität OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany
  3. 3.Department of Islamic TheologyUniversität OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

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