Journal article Open Access

Moderating effects of dietary restraint and self-compassion in an expressive writing intervention in Southeast Asian population

Relojo, Dennis

The efficacy of expressive writing (EW) has been well-established on Western populations. However, to date, there are limited studies which examined its efficacy in an Asian population and whether dietary restraint and self-compassion have moderating effects on exposure to thin ideal images. Using repeated measures experimental design, this study investigated the efficacy of EW in improving levels of body satisfaction and positive affect among 140 Filipino female university students ageing 18-25 years ( M = 19.23 ; SD = 1.21). They were tested in groups and wrote either about life goals (n = 46), positive experiences (n = 49) or a control topic (n = 46). It further examined how EW could benefit people on the basis of their levels of dietary restraint and self-compassion. To measure dietary restraint the Revised Restraint Scale (RRS; Herman & Polivy, 1980) was used; self-compassion was assessed using Selfcompassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003). Two separate three-way independent ANOVAs were carried out to investigate whether the types of writing tasks, dietary restraint and self-compassion have an impact on their scores on body satisfaction and positive affect. Regardless of the writing task, participants did not differ on body satisfaction, or positive affect.

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