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Body image-related cognitive fusion as a main mediational process between body-related experiences and women’s quality of life

  • Cláudia Ferreira
  • Inês A. TrindadeEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

Although the experience of body image has been considered an important indicator of women’s psychological quality of life (QoL), it has also been suggested that the impact of unwanted body-related experiences on QoL may be mediated by emotional regulation processes. The aim of the current study was therefore to explore for the first time the role of body image-related cognitive fusion on these associations.

Methods

This study comprised 779 young females who completed self-report measures. A path analysis was conducted to explore whether BMI, body dissatisfaction and feelings of inferiority based on physical appearance would impact on psychological QoL through body image-related cognitive fusion.

Results

The model explained 39 % of psychological health, and revealed an excellent fit. Results showed that BMI did not directly impact on psychological health. Furthermore, the effects of increased body dissatisfaction and feelings of inferiority based on physical appearance on psychological health were fully and partially mediated by body image-related cognitive fusion, respectively.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that the presence of body image-related negative experiences does not necessarily lead to impairment in women’s QoL, which is rather dependent upon one’s ability to observe these unwanted experiences as transient and subjective. Therefore, intervention programmes aiming at increasing women’s QoL should focus on targeting emotional regulation processes in order to develop the ability to pursue life goals and values, even in the presence of unwanted experiences concerning body image.

Keywords

Quality of life Psychological health Body image-related cognitive fusion Body dissatisfaction Feelings of inferiority based on physical appearance BMI 

Abbreviations

QoL

Quality of life

BMI

Body mass index

FRS

Figure rating scale

BD

Body dissatisfaction

SCPAS

Social comparison through physical appearance scale

CFQ-BI

Cognitive fusion questionnaire-body image

WHOQOL-BREF

World Health Organization Brief Quality of Life Assessment Scale

Notes

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cognitive-Behavioural Research CentreUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  2. 2.CINEICC, Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da EducaçãoUniversidade de CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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