Research: DE WET and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 281

Abstract

DE WET and COLLEAGUES, 1 School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, QLD, 4558, Australia. a_d088@student.usc.edu.au ; 2 Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, QLD, 4558, Australia. blane@usc.edu.au ; 3 School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Locked Bag 4, Maroochydore DC, QLD, 4558, Australia.  kmulgrew@usc.edu.au conducted a study to examine the effects of self-compassion meditations on women's body image

Background

Although research has suggested that body image improves following self-compassion meditation training, studies have been limited due to the use of a wait-list control group.

Methodology

This study therefore compared the effects of self-compassion meditations to an active control group. Seventy young adult women (17-35 years) were randomly assigned to receive either self-compassion or nature-focused guided imagery meditations. Over one week, participants engaged in two meditations and completed pre- and post-test measures of trait self-compassion, body appreciation, body shame, and appearance-contingent self-worth.

Results

A mixed design analysis of variance revealed a main effect of time; women in both meditation groups demonstrated significant increases in self-compassion and body appreciation, and significant reductions in body shame. No effect was found for appearance-contingent self-worth. There were no interactions or main effects for group. Self-compassion may improve body image in women, although there was no evidence for an advantage of self-compassion over guided imagery meditations.

Conclusion

Common elements between self-compassion and guided imagery may be a mechanism for improving body image. However, further research is warranted to isolate the effects of these meditations from other specific and non-specific treatment effects. (This study was pre-registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12618001814268).

References

Amy J de Wet  1 , Ben R Lane  2 , Kate E Mulgrew  3. A Randomised Controlled Trial Examining the Effects of Self-Compassion Meditations on Women's Body Image

Body Image:  35:22-29. Dec 2020. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.07.009. Epub Aug 23 2020 .

 

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