Self-Esteem and Body Image in Females: The Mediating Role of Self-Compassion and Appearance Contingent Self-Worth

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Body dissatisfaction is a major source of suffering among women of all ages. One factor that has the potential to mitigate body dissatisfaction, as well as promote a positive body image and psychological wellbeing, is self-compassion. This study explored sources of positive and negative body image by investigating the relationship between self-esteem, self-compassion, and appearance contingent self-worth in conceptualizing body image avoidance behaviors. The multiple mediation model assessed the responses of 222 female participants from the general community. Self-compassion and appearance contingent self-worth were both found to partially mediate the relationships between self-esteem and body image avoidance behaviors. The findings are discussed in light of clinical interventions and directions for future research in the body image field.

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