Mindful embodiment: preliminary investigation of the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and mindfulness, and the effectiveness of two pilot interventions for adult men and women.

Cvetanovski, A 2014, Mindful embodiment: preliminary investigation of the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and mindfulness, and the effectiveness of two pilot interventions for adult men and women., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Health Sciences, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Mindful embodiment: preliminary investigation of the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and mindfulness, and the effectiveness of two pilot interventions for adult men and women.
Author(s) Cvetanovski, A
Year 2014
Abstract Body image (BI) dissatisfaction and disturbance is a source of significant distress for men and women of all ages. However, because of its subclinical nature, BI dissatisfaction is often left untreated. Societal pressure to meet body weight and shape ideals place individuals at risk of negative BI; disordered eating; excessive exercise; use of enhancing and appearance altering drugs or surgical procedures; and psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, perfectionism, and isolation. The overall aim of the current thesis was to investigate the role of mindfulness (i.e., the ability to be present, aware, accepting, and non-judgemental of private experiences including thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviours) in improving BI dissatisfaction. The issues were explored through two studies: the first study predominantly focused on investigating the relationship between mindfulness and BI dissatisfaction, with the second study concentrated on evaluating two pilot interventions for BI dissatisfaction; mindfulness stand-alone intervention and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and mindfulness intervention.
The aim of the first study was to investigate the relationship between mindfulness in everyday activities and BI dissatisfaction. A community sample of 208 participants completed measures related to mindfulness, acceptance, ability to distance from thoughts, self-compassion, BI dissatisfaction and disturbance, perfectionism, psychological well-being, self-esteem, and eating disorder symptomatology. Results indicated that higher levels of mindfulness and acceptance were significantly related to less appearance and body dissatisfaction, psychosocial disturbances in daily life as a result of BI dissatisfaction (e.g., avoiding situations), negative emotions and distress, and overvalued importance placed on appearance in both men and women. These findings hold promising implications for the treatment of BI dissatisfaction. Therefore, a follow-up study was conducted to investigate the effect of mindfulness skills training on BI dissatisfaction via intervention.
The aim of the second study was to investigate the effectiveness of CBT plus mindfulness, and stand-alone mindfulness interventions targeting BI dissatisfaction in adult men and women. To date, no research has examined the effectiveness of these interventions in this area. Since the reported interventions were pilot interventions, a mixed-methodology design was used this study comprising of case series methodology and qualitative feedback from participants. For most out of nine participants, both interventions were shown to be effective in reducing BI dissatisfaction, psychosocial disturbance associated with BI dissatisfaction, negative emotions and distress around BI, and thinking errors/distortions. Although there were limitations in both studies, the results provide useful information regarding the relationship between mindfulness and dissatisfaction with appearance. Recommendations for future research include further examining the relationships between BI dissatisfaction and mindfulness, and the use of a randomised control trials to evaluate the effectiveness of the two pilot interventions investigated in this study.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Health Sciences
Keyword(s) body image dissatisfaction
body image disturbance
mindfulness
acceptance
cognitive-behavioural therapy
intervention
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Created: Fri, 04 Jul 2014, 13:44:29 EST by Lynne Johns
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