A Diary Study of Self-Compassion, Upward Social Comparisons, and Body Image-Related Outcomes.
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Background: Self-compassion may protect individuals experiencing poor body image and associated maladaptive outcomes. The purpose of the study was to examine within-person associations (whilst controlling for between-person differences) between appearance-related self-compassion, appearance-related threats (operationalised as upward appearance comparisons), and body image-related variables, namely, social physique anxiety, drive for thinness, and body dissatisfaction. Methods: A diary methodology was used whereby young women (n = 126; Mage = 21.26) responded to brief online surveys three times per day (11am, 3pm, and 7pm) every second day for one week (i.e. a total of 12 measurement points). Results: Results of mixed linear modeling revealed that both state appearance-related upward comparisons and self-compassion independently predicted all three outcomes in a positive and negative fashion, respectively. No significant interaction effects between state appearance-related upward comparisons and self-compassion were found. Conclusions: The results suggested that appearance-based self-compassion was important, not just when there was a potential threat to body image via upward appearance comparisons. The findings highlight the importance of fostering self-compassion on a daily level.
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