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Body-related cognitive distortions (thought–shape fusion body) associated with thin-ideal exposure in female students—An ecological momentary assessment study

Wyssen, Andrea; Leins, Judith; Reichenberger, Julia; Blechert, Jens; Munsch, Simone; Steins-Loeber, Sabine

Etiological models of eating disorders (EDs) describe body dissatisfaction (BD)as one
of the major influences fostering dysfunctional body-related behaviour and disordered
eating behaviour. BD is influenced by repeated exposure to thin ideals that
evoke high self-ideal discrepancy and result in body-related cognitive distortions
such as thought–shape fusion body (TSF-B). The aim of this study was to investigate
the covariation of daily media exposure and the experience of TSF-B in a naturalistic
setting. It was further analysed whether TSF-B is associated with self-ideal discrepancy,
dysfunctional body-related behaviour, and disordered eating behaviour. Moreover,
person-related predictors of TSF-B were explored. Altogether, 51healthy
female students (mean age 21.06years, SD = 1.76) participated in an ecological
momentary assessment study with four daily surveys during 10consecutive days.
Exposure with thin ideals in contrast to exposure to unspecific media contents went
along with the experience of TSF-B. TSF-B was associated with higher self-ideal
discrepancy and dysfunctional body-related behaviour as well as more pronounced
disordered eating behaviour, suggesting that TSF-B is a common phenomenon in
young healthy females' everyday life. A main effect of trait measures (e.g., pre-existing
BD) on TSF-B was observable but has no moderating effect. Thus, a specific vulnerability
has not been detected.

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Files are currently under embargo but will be publicly accessible after February 18, 2022.

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