Title

Thinking Meta-Theoretically about the Role of Internalization in the Development of Body Dissatisfaction and Body Change Behaviors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Internalization of societal standards of physical attractiveness (i.e., internalization of the thin ideal for women and internalization of the mesomorphic ideal for men) is a widely studied and robust risk factor for body dissatisfaction and maladaptive body change behaviors. Substantial empirical research supports internalization as both a mediator and a moderator of the relation between societal influences and body dissatisfaction. In this paper, a primer on mediation and moderation is followed by a review of literature and discussion of the extent to which internalization can theoretically fulfill the roles of both mediation and moderation. The literature review revealed a stark contrast in research design (experimental versus non-experimental design) when alternate conceptualizations of internalization are adopted. A meta-theoretical, moderated mediation model is presented. This model integrates previous research and can inform future empirical and clinical endeavors. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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