Feelings of body dissatisfaction in young women are becoming ever more prevalent. Body dissatisfaction can lead to shame, hinder personal relation- ships, and distract women (ranging from pre-adolescence to early adulthood) from educational, career, or creative pursuits. Mothers are some of the biggest influencers in the development of body dissatisfaction in young adult women. A daughter’s development of body dissatisfaction can be influenced by their mother through direct interactions, indirect interactions, and the emotional quality of the mother-daughter relationship. Direct mother-daughter interactions can negatively influence daughters’ body dissatisfaction through maternal criticism and encouragement to lose weight (Sniezek, 2006; Taniguchi & Aune, 2013). Indirect mother-daughter interactions also negatively influence their daughter’s body dissatisfaction through maternal body dissatisfaction and co-rumination. Daughters who perceived their mothers as less caring, more overprotective, and less emotionally close were more likely to struggle with body dissatisfaction (Calam, Waller, Slade, & Newton, 1990; Smith et al., 2016). These combined factors confirm the integral effect of maternal influence on daughters’ development of healthy body image. This paper will review existing literature to demonstrate this relationship.

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