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Keywords:

  • body image disturbances;
  • interpersonal problems;
  • negative affect;
  • obesity;
  • self-esteem

Abstract

Background

This study investigated the relationship among negative affect, body image disturbances (BID), and interpersonal problems, and the mediating effect of self-esteem in a group of treatment-seeking obese individuals.

Methods

Four hundred twenty-two obese patients (85 males and 337 females) completed standardised measures that assessed negative affect, BID, self-esteem, and interpersonal problems.

Results

Structural equation modelling showed that obese individuals with greater negative affect and BID reported higher interpersonal problems and that self-esteem mediated the relationships among negative affect, BID, and interpersonal problems.

Conclusions

The mediating role of self-esteem in the relationship between interpersonal functioning and psychological distress needs to be considered when selecting psychologically based interventions that aim to improve the well-being of treatment-seeking obese patients.