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THE RELATIONSHIP OF YOGA, BODY AWARENESS, AND BODY RESPONSIVENESS TO SELF-OBJECTIFICATION AND DISORDERED EATING

Authors


  • Jennifer J. Daubenmier, Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley. Jennifer J. Daubenmier is now at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute.

  • This paper is based on a doctoral dissertation completed at the University of California, Berkeley. This research was supported by a dissertation grant from University of California, Berkeley, Department of Psychology. I wish to thank Christina Maslach, Eleanor Rosch, Gerdi Weidner, and Michael Sumner for their generous support and helpful suggestions throughout this project.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jennifer J. Daubenmier, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, 900 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965. E-mail: jennifer.daubenmier@pmri.org

Abstract

Study 1 tested whether yoga practice is associated with greater awareness of and responsiveness to bodily sensations, lower self-objectification, greater body satisfaction, and fewer disordered eating attitudes. Three samples of women (43 yoga, 45 aerobic, and 51 nonyoga/nonaerobic practitioners) completed questionnaire measures. As predicted, yoga practitioners reported more favorably on all measures. Body responsiveness, and, to some extent, body awareness significantly explained group differences in self-objectification, body satisfaction, and disordered eating attitudes. The mediating role of body awareness, in addition to body responsiveness, between self-objectification and disordered eating attitudes was also tested as proposed in objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997). Body responsiveness, but not awareness, mediated the relationship between self-objectification and disordered eating attitudes. This finding was replicated in Study 2 in a sample of female undergraduate students. It is concluded that body responsiveness and, to some extent, body awareness are related to self-objectification and its consequences.

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