Objectification theory posits that internalization of societal perspectives about the female body leads to increased body surveillance, which can result in body-related shame and subsequent eating disorder (ED) behaviors. Preliminary research indicates that these associations may be complex in nature. This study examined temporal relations among body surveillance, body shame, and eating disorder symptoms in the context of a dissonance-based body image intervention and through 14-month follow-up. College women (N = 285) completed assessments at baseline, post-intervention, and at 8-week, 8-month, and 14-month follow-up. Cross-lag panel analyses revealed that changes in body surveillance significantly mediated the association between body shame and ED symptoms over time. Alternatively, body shame did not change over time and was not a significant mediator of associations between body surveillance and ED symptoms longitudinally. Results indicate that the ameliorative effects of dissonance-based interventions may be due to reductions in body surveillance, rather than decreased body shame.
- Body surveillance
- Dissonance-based interventions
- Intervention mechanism of action
- Objectification theory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology