University of Glasgow

Project Description

Gender differences in self-liking and self-competence and the associations with body dissatisfaction and disordered eating

Project Abstract

Much evidence exists to support an association between self-esteem and disordered eating but there remains the need for further research to better understand the nature of the association in order to design effective prevention targeting the right people in the right way. In view of this goal of developing a better understanding of self-esteem, interest was sparked by Tafarodi & Swann�s (1995) proposal of a two-dimensional view of self-esteem, broken down into self-liking and self-competence. Mixed results on the relative contribution each dimension adds to the development of eating pathologies suggests the need for further research. In particular, differences in the association between body dissatisfaction and self-liking compared with self-competence have been found. Furthermore, gender differences in body dissatisfaction and in the relationship between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem have been reported, but these studies use only unidimensional measures of self-esteem so the relative importance of self-liking and self-competence for males compared with females remains unexplored to date. Hence, this study looks at disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, self-liking and self-competence between genders to clarify any gender differences in self-liking and self-competence and in the relationship between these and disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. The findings should inform future research (on self-liking and self-competence generally as well as disordered eating) and help focus preventative interventions to target the most at-risk populations in the most helpful way.

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