Diana T. Sanchez, Department of Psychology, Rutgers University; Tracy Kwang, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.
WHEN THE RELATIONSHIP BECOMES HER: REVISITING WOMEN'S BODY CONCERNS FROM A RELATIONSHIP CONTINGENCY PERSPECTIVE
Article first published online: 26 NOV 2007
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 31, Issue 4, pages 401–414, December 2007
How to Cite
Sanchez, D. T. and Kwang, T. (2007), WHEN THE RELATIONSHIP BECOMES HER: REVISITING WOMEN'S BODY CONCERNS FROM A RELATIONSHIP CONTINGENCY PERSPECTIVE. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31: 401–414. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2007.00389.x
We would like to especially thank Jennifer Crocker, Dan Ogilvie, Eric Saltzman, Laurie Rudman, and Margaret J. Shih for their helpful comments during the preparation of this manuscript.
- Issue published online: 26 NOV 2007
- Article first published online: 26 NOV 2007
- Initial submission: November 6, 2006Initial acceptance: May 8, 2007Final acceptance: July 5, 2007
Given women's communally oriented socialization and social pressures to find romantic partners, many heterosexual women may derive self-worth from having romantic relationships (relationship contingency). Across two studies, we explored whether relationship contingency heightens women's body shame. Studies 1A and 1B found that relationship contingency causes body shame among women. In Study 2, relationship contingency predicted greater bulimic symptoms, which was mediated fully by greater body shame. Using both experimental methods and structural equation modeling, these studies demonstrate a link between relationship contingency and body shame that is not explained by appearance contingency (basing self-esteem on one's physical appearance). Results are discussed in terms of self-objectification theory, contingencies of self-worth, mate preferences, and close relationships.