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Sex differences in the relationships between body dissatisfaction, quality of life and psychological distress


Griffiths, S and Hay, P and Mitchison, D and Mond, JM and McLean, SA and Rodgers, B and Massey, R and Paxton, SJ, Sex differences in the relationships between body dissatisfaction, quality of life and psychological distress, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40, (6) pp. 518-522. ISSN 1326-0200 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Public Health Association of Australia.

DOI: doi:10.1111/1753-6405.12538


Background: Body dissatisfaction is associated with impairment in womenís quality of life (QoL). To date, research has not examined the relationship between body dissatisfaction and menís QoL, or sex differences in this relationship.

Methods: A community sample of 966 males and 1,031 females living in Australia provided information about their body dissatisfaction, mental health and physical health-related QoL, and eating disorder symptoms. Data were analysed using three hierarchical multiple regressions and interactions between body dissatisfaction and sex were examined.

Results: For both sexes, increasing levels of body dissatisfaction were associated with poorer mental and physical health-related QoL and greater psychological distress. The adverse associations between body dissatisfaction and mental health-related QoL, and between body dissatisfaction and psychological distress, were more pronounced for males.

Conclusion: High levels of body dissatisfaction may threaten the psychological and physical wellbeing of both men and women. Body dissatisfaction appears to be a public health problem, distinct from the eating disorders and other adverse psychological phenomena for which body dissatisfaction is commonly discussed as a risk factor. Males, historically understudied and underrepresented in body image research, warrant increased empirical attention.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Body image, Quality of life, Sex differences
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Mond, JM (Dr Jon Mond)
ID Code:117734
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:109
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2017-06-27
Last Modified:2017-11-07

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