ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 7, Issue 2, 261-276, 2016
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The Effect of Peer Stress on Body Dissatisfaction in Female and Male Young Adults

  Kristen Murray - Research School of Psychology, Australian National
  Elizabeth Rieger - Research School of Psychology, Australian National
  Don Byrne - Research School of Psychology, Australian National

Volume 7, Issue 2, 2016, Pages 261-276


Research displays a link between interpersonal stress and body image during adolescence, but has yet to be considered in young adults.  The present experimental study tests the effect of interpersonal stress on general and weight-specific body dissatisfaction, and the moderating effect of gender and appearance importance.  N=111 university students aged between 18 and 25 years were randomly assigned to three conditions in which participants were exposed to vicarious peer rejection based on appearance or personality, and a no rejection control.  Results revealed support for a causal effect of interpersonal (peer-related) stress on state body dissatisfaction, with males reporting greater general body dissatisfaction under a personality-based peer rejection condition, and an increase in weight dissatisfaction for those reporting low appearance importance under appearance-based rejection.  Females reported greater body dissatisfaction regardless of the nature of interpersonal interactions.  The research holds implications for prevention and early intervention programs in young adults.

Table of Contents
  State Body Dissatisfaction.
  Appearance Importance.
  Manipulation Checks.
  Body Mass Index.
  Testing session.
  Pilot work.
  Statistical Analysis
 Manipulation Checks
 The Effect of Peer Rejection Stress, Gender and Appearance Importance on Body Dissatisfaction
  General Body Dissatisfaction (BISS).
  Weight-specific Body Dissatisfaction (PASTAS).
 Manipulation Checks
 The Effect of Peer Stress, Gender, and Appearance Importance on State Body Dissatisfaction
  General Body Dissatisfaction.
  Weight-Specific Body Dissatisfaction.
 Limitations and Future Directions

Correspondence to
Dr Kristen Murray

Stress, Body Dissatifaction, Interpersonal Relationships, Peer Rejection, Youth

Received 10 Dec 2014; Revised 12 May 2016; Accepted 12 May 2016; In Press 16 May 2016

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