Turning self-compassionate engagement into action: Impact on body appreciation among Portuguese women

Volume 11, January 2019, Pages 21-26

Joana Marta-Simões and Cláudia Ferreira

Body appreciation, a facet of positive body image with important implications for women's wellbeing and mental health, has been reported to associate with important emotion regulation mechanisms such as self-compassion and psychological flexibility. Using a sample of adult women from the Portuguese general population (N = 288), the present study aimed to explore how self-compassionate engagement and action competences may differentially impact on body appreciation, and whether psychological flexibility mediates self-compassionate engagement's relationship with self-compassionate action. Path analysis’ results showed that while self-compassionate action directly associates with body appreciation, the effect of self-compassionate engagement on self-compassionate action and body appreciation appears to be mediated by psychological flexibility. It thus seems that psychological flexibility may be involved in the positive association between self-compassionate sensitivity and motivation and effective self-compassionate action, which altogether associate with higher body appreciation. The combination of strategies of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may potentiate the promotion of positive body image in adult women.

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