Self-objectification and Well-being: The Impact of Self-objectification on Women’s Overall Sense of Self-worth and Life Satisfaction

Abstract

Research on objectification theory (Fredrickson and Roberts in Psychology of Women Quarterly 21:173–206, 1997) has demonstrated relations among self-objectification, body shame, and negative health outcomes. Less research has focused on the relation of self-objectification to indicators of well-being. We examined associations among self-objectification, body shame, and two indicators of well-being (i.e., self-esteem and satisfaction with life) in a path analytic model. We also tested explicitly whether body shame mediated the relation between self-objectification and self-esteem and whether self-esteem mediated the relation between body shame and life satisfaction. Female undergraduates (N = 227) from the United States completed questionnaires assessing the constructs of interest. Results indicated that the proposed model fit the data and that body shame and self-esteem mediated as predicted. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Correspondence to Andrea E. Mercurio.

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Mercurio, A.E., Landry, L.J. Self-objectification and Well-being: The Impact of Self-objectification on Women’s Overall Sense of Self-worth and Life Satisfaction. Sex Roles 58, 458–466 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-007-9357-3

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Keywords

  • Objectification theory
  • Self-objectification
  • Satisfaction with life
  • Self-esteem