Experiential avoidance and dysfunctional beliefs in the prediction of body image disturbance in a nonclinical sample of women

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APA Citation: 

Blakey, S. M., Reuman, L., Buchholz, J. L., & Abramowitz, J. S. (2017). Experiential avoidance and dysfunctional beliefs in the prediction of body image disturbance in a nonclinical sample of women. Body Image, 22, 72-77. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2017.06.003

Publication Topic: 
RFT: Empirical
Publication Type: 
Article
Language: 
English
Abstract: 

Body image disturbance (BID) refers to persistent dissatisfaction, distress, and dysfunction related to some aspect(s) of one’s physical appearance. Cognitive models of BID highlight the importance of dysfunctional beliefs in maintaining BID. Relational Frame Theory (RFT), in contrast, posits that psychological distress is sustained by the unwillingness to experience aversive internal experiences (i.e., experiential avoidance [EA]). The present study tested the hypothesis that both dysfunctional beliefs and EA uniquely predict BID even after accounting for general distress. A nonclinical female sample (N = 100) completed measures of general distress, dysfunctional beliefs about appearance, EA, and BID in addition to providing in vivo anxiety ratings after looking at their most dissatisfactory facial feature in a vanity mirror. Linear regression analyses showed that dysfunctional beliefs, but not EA, accounted for significant unique variance in BID outcomes. Implications for understanding, assessing, and treating clinically significant BID are discussed.