Keywords

body image, eating disorders, marriage, relationships, spousal influence

Abstract

Eating disorder literature often overlooks those exhibiting eating and body image concerns without an eating disorder diagnosis. Supportive spouses may ameliorate negative body image and eating behavior, but spouses who exhibit both supportive and non-supportive behaviors concurrently (ambivalent) may send mixed messages. Eating disorder behaviors and spousal interactions were assessed in 61 women who demonstrated eating disordered behavior and body dissatisfaction but were not clinically diagnosed with an eating disorder. Spouses mostly provided messages of reassurance. However, some women were unable to overcome their internalized negative body image. Feelings of social comparison were seen with ambivalent spouses. Supportive relationships may be protective, but actual interventions may be needed to change negative body image.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2019

Publisher

The Authors

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons

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