The effect of interpersonal rejection on attentional biases regarding thin-ideal and non-thin images: The moderating role of body weight- and shape-based self-worth

Elizabeth Rieger, Ashleigh Dolan, Brittany Thomas, Jason Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Interpersonal dysfunction and weight/shape-based self-worth have been implicated as key constructs for eating disorders, although the relationship between these two concepts is under-researched. This study investigated the moderating role of weight/shape-based self-worth in terms of the impact of interpersonal rejection on attentional bias regarding thin-ideal and non-thin images. Participants were 94 females without an eating disorder, who were exposed to either interpersonal rejection or acceptance (using the Cyberball paradigm), and subsequently assessed in terms of their attentional biases regarding thin-ideal and non-thin images. Results revealed that weight/shape-based self-worth moderated the relationship between interpersonal rejection/acceptance and attentional biases for thin-ideal (but not non-thin) images. Specifically, participants with a greater tendency to base their self-worth on weight/shape demonstrated reduced avoidance of thin-ideal images when rejected relative to those who were accepted. The findings support the role of interpersonal rejection in eliciting attentional disturbances among those with higher body weight/shape-based self-worth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalBody Image
Early online date8 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


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