Familial Attitudes, Appearance Schematicity and Body Dissatisfaction in Undergraduate Students

by Melissa Mason

The present study examined the effect of parental modeling of body image concerns on the appearance schematicity and body esteem of male and female participants’. The level of investment in appearance was also examined in relation to participants’ body esteem. Gender differences in body esteem and investment in appearance were also investigated. In addition, these two factors were examined to determine their separate and combined effects on body esteem. Two hundred and fifty first year psychology students completed questionnaire packages measuring body esteem, investment in appearance and perceived parental attitudes towards body image. Results showed females have lower body esteem and are more invested in their appearance than males. Investment in appearance is positively related to body esteem. In addition both parents influenced the body esteem and appearance schematicity of their children. Implications of the conclusions are discussed.