The effects of objectification and self-esteem on body shame, appearance-contingent self-worth and restrained eating

Author/Creator ORCID
Towson University. Department of Psychology
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Using objectification theory (Fredrickson and Roberts ,1997), this study examined the moderating influence of trait self-esteem and the mediating influence of appearance-contingent self-worth on interrelationships among self-objectification, body shame, and disordered eating. Female participants first completed a trait self-esteem measure. Self-objectification was then manipulated through the recording of physical body measurements (e.g. weight, waist circumference). Among various distractor questionnaires, participants then completed measures of state self-objectification, body shame, and appearance-contingent self-worth. Disordered eating was finally observed using a purported taste test. A series of multiple regression analyses were used to examine the effect of objectification, trait self-esteem, and the Objectification X Trait Self-Esteem interaction on appearance-contingent self-worth, body shame and restrained eating, respectively. Individuals with higher trait self-esteem reported lower state self-objectification, appearance-contingent self-worth and body shame. Participants in the objectification condition consumed significantly less food than participants in the control condition and, thus, demonstrated significantly more restrained eating behavior.