Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jarry, Josee (Psychology)

Keywords

Social psychology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to assess the extent to which body mass index (BMI) and body image disturbance predicted perceived romantic relationship quality. 139 female undergraduate students involved in romantic relationships completed self-report instruments and had their height and weight measured. Consistent with hypotheses, women with greater body dissatisfaction reported poorer overall romantic relationship quality. Body dissatisfaction also predicted lower levels of relationship satisfaction, trust, and love. Contrary to expectations, the effect of body dissatisfaction on overall relationship quality was not more pronounced among overweight and obese women. BMI was unrelated to overall relationship quality; however, BMI did predict lower levels of passion in romantic partnerships. Similarly, dysfunctional body image investment was unrelated to overall relationship quality, but predicted lower levels of intimacy and trust. These findings can inform therapy with distressed couples who may benefit from interventions aimed at improving the female partner's body image attitudes.

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