The relationship between self-compassion and disordered eating behaviors : body dissatisfaction, perfectionism, and contingent self-worth as mediators




Finley-Straus, Angela Danielle

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The concept of self-compassion has been gathering interest for researchers in recent years, as it appears to offer an array of benefits to wellbeing. This study investigated the potential role of self-compassion as a protective factor against disordered eating behaviors. It also examined the mediating roles of three potential variables: body dissatisfaction, perfectionism and contingent self-worth. Given modern representations of the female ideal, failure to achieve or adequately conform to such standards often poses psychological challenges for women and girls. Self-compassion encompasses kind, mindful self-treatment and may be an ideal protective factor against disordered eating. It has also been linked with lower body dissatisfaction, maladaptive perfectionism, and contingent self-worth. The present study found that dissatisfaction with one’s body, as well as a tendency to judge one’s personal worth based on appearance fully mediated the relationship between self-compassion and both restrained and emotional disordered eating respectively. Therefore, a self-compassionate attitude may serve as a protective factor against engaging in disordered eating vis-à-vis strengthening young women’s abilities to look at their bodies in a more compassionate and unconditionally accepting way.



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