Gender and locus of control correlates of body image dissatisfaction

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Abstract

The study concerned sex and various locus of control correlates of body image satisfaction. The results indicated that men and women differ significantly in the degree and in the direction of dissatisfaction towards their bodies, which were consistent with the culturally defined ideals for men and women. Significant differences were also observed regarding self-perceptions, suggesting that women more than men are more likely to suffer from depression and have lower self-esteem which was itself associated with body image satisfaction. Individual beliefs about perceived control towards achieving an ‘ideal’ body shape were assessed using a new locus of control scale which correlated significantly with two scales measuring attitudes relating to body shape. The results from this new scale suggest that perceived locus of control beliefs are important predictors of the resulting behaviours and self-perceptions associated with body shape satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

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