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Keywords:

  • self-esteem;
  • body esteem;
  • eating disorders

Abstract

Objective

We investigated the predictive utility of three dimensions of body esteem in explaining self-esteem in samples of eating-disordered (ED) and nonclinical women.

Method

Participants comprised 74 ED women and 103 female university students. All women completed questionnaires measuring body esteem and self-esteem and all provided information on height and weight. We ran hierarchical multiple regression analyses with self-esteem as the outcome variable and participant status (clinical or non), body mass index (BMI), body esteem, and interaction terms as predictors.

Results

The main finding was a Body Esteem x Participant Status interaction involving the attribution dimension of body esteem. Specifically, among ED women, the higher their body esteem attribution (i.e., the more they endorsed items such as “I think my appearance would help me get dates”), the higher their self-esteem; whereas this relationship was not found among the students.

Discussion

Our results contribute to an emerging profile of ED patients as highly socially sensitive. © 2002 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 31: 318–323, 2002; DOI 10.1002/eat.10011