Prediction of Thin-ideal Internalization from Appearance Perfectionism, Self-concept Clarity and Self-esteem


 Department of Psychology, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Eating disorders and body-image disturbances are of the most prevalent and disabling clinical complications that adolescent girls and young women develop. From the causes which effectively contribute to body dissatisfaction and eating pathology, is considered to be internalization of thin-ideal. This study aims to determine the correlations between thin-ideal internalization and variables of appearance perfectionism, self-concept clarity and self-esteem. Next, it investigates the percentage that each variable predicts internalization of thin-ideal.

Method: To conduct the study, 477 high-school students from Tehran were recruited by method of cluster sampling. Next, they filled out Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, Appearance Perfectionism Scale, Self-concept clarity scale as well as Sociocultural Attitudes towards Appearance Questionnaire-4. At last, collected data were analyzed using Pearson’ correlation coefficient together with stepwise regression.

Results: Findings of the study showed that variables of self-esteem and self-concept clarity significantly correlated with thin-ideal internalization in a negative direction (p< 0.000). The relationship between appearance perfectionism and thin-ideal internalization was positively significant (p< 0.000). Besides, outcomes of stepwise regression suggested that appearance perfectionism could account for 12% of the variance of thin-ideal internalization. After adding the variable of self-concept clarity, coefficient of determination increased by 16% which then went up by 17% as the variable of self-esteem entered regression equation. Such an increase was statistically significant. Self-esteem (p< 0.023) and self-concept clarity (p< 0.002) were negative predictors and appearance perfectionism (p< 0.000) was positive predictor of thin-ideal internalization. Beta coefficients also indicated that the predictor of appearance perfectionism with a beta of 0.33 had the largest impact on thin-ideal internalization. The second and the third predictors of thin-ideal internalization were self-concept clarity and self-esteem with beta coefficients of -0.15 and -0.11, respectively.

Conclusion: Personal differences which get people vulnerable to thin-ideal internalization recently have come into use as useful measures to relieve the symptoms of eating disorders. In fact, such differences, not only enhance our understanding of eating and body-image disturbances, but also could bring us with alternative methods for prevention and treatment of respective disorders.

Keywords: Appearance Perfectionism, Self-concept clarity, Self-esteem, Thin-ideal internalization

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