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Keywords:

  • body checking;
  • cognitions;
  • behaviors;
  • social physique anxiety

Abstract

Objective:

Recent evidence supports the utility of a model where body checking cognitions and behaviors influence disordered eating. It can be hypothesized that emotional states might explain the links between checking cognitions and behaviors. Social physique anxiety is associated with disordered eating and is an important form of affect to consider in this model. This study aims to examine the associations between these variables, testing a mediational model of the role of social physique anxiety in the links between body checking cognitions and behaviors.

Method:

A nonclinical group of 292 women completed well-validated measures of social physique anxiety, body checking cognitions, and body checking behaviors.

Results:

The data were compatible with a model where social physique anxiety partially mediates the relationship between body checking cognitions and body checking behavior. The combination of cognitions and affect explained a significant proportion of variance in body checking behavior.

Conclusion:

Incorporating affect allows for a more comprehensive model of understanding the antecedent factors of body checking behaviors. The impact of body checking cognitions on physique anxiety might serve to drive the repetitive body checking behaviors, potentially contributing to disordered eating. Interventions for body checking might be more effective if they included an affective treatment component. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007