Drive for thinness versus fear of fat: Approach and avoidance motivation regarding thin and non-thin images in women

Laura Dondzilo, Elizabeth Rieger, N Jayawardena, Jason Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Internalization of sociocultural attitudes regarding the so-called virtues of thinness and vices of fatness can lead to two motivational orientations: drive for thinness and fear of fat. The current study assessed drive for thinness and fear of fat, via approach and avoidance motivation towards thin-ideal and non-thin bodies respectively, and also the relation between these approach-avoidance tendencies and key eating disorder-related constructs. Participants were 95 female undergraduate students. Results revealed an approach bias for thin-ideal bodies and an avoidance bias for non-thin bodies. Furthermore, a greater approach bias towards thin-ideal bodies was associated with greater body dissatisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, and dietary restraint whilst controlling for body mass index. An avoidance bias away from non-thin bodies did not significantly correlate with any eating disorder-related constructs. These findings imply that drive for thinness may be more relevant than fear of fat as a risk factor for eating disorder symptoms in women. © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-593
Number of pages9
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019

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