*5 Factors Promote Positive Body Image for Women*
Published on Psych Central
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[image: Five Factors Promote Positive Body Image for Women]Researchers from
the University of Arizona have identified five factors that lead to a
positive body image for women.
Shannon Snapp, Ph.D., and her colleagues said many women in contemporary
Western cultures are dissatisfied with their bodies, setting them up for
eating problems. This led researchers to examine factors that make women
more resilient when it comes to their body image in an effort to help those
at risk of eating disorders.
They focused on first-year college women who are likely to experience
self-consciousness as they compare themselves with peers and become
involved in social groups and organizations that place a high value on
The researchers had 301 freshman complete questionnaires based on the
Choate theoretical model, which hypothesizes that family support and low
levels of pressure to attain the thin ideal are related to the rejection of
the “Superwoman ideal,” positive views of physical competence, and
effective stress-busting strategies.
These factors are associated with well-being, which in turn is linked to
positive body image in women, said the researchers, who found that young
women with a lot of family support and low levels of perceived
sociocultural pressure from family, friends and the media regarding the
importance of achieving a “thin and beautiful” ideal had a more positive
These same women also rejected the Superwoman ideal, had a positive
physical self-concept, and were armed with skills to deal with stress, the
The scientists offer several practical recommendations for prevention
programs aimed at young women at risk of eating disorders, such as helping
them to evaluate and become comfortable with the multiple and often
contradictory expectations placed upon them in today’s society; teaching
them to use effective coping skills; fostering a positive view of their
physical competence through exercise and health; and promoting holistic
well-being and balance in their lives.
“It is particularly important for women to develop a sense of self-worth
that is not solely based on appearance, and to build resilience to
pressures they may receive from family, friends and the media,” the
researchers concluded in the study, which was published online in
Springer’s journal *Sex Roles*.
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