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Appearance Investment;Body Dissatisfaction;Depression;Rumination


Josée Jarry



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Body dissatisfaction has been shown to predict the onset of depression (Bornioli et al., 2020; Paxton et at, 2006; Ferreiro et al., 2014; Sharpe et al., 2018). However, those for whom body dissatisfaction may be especially likely to result in depression has received little attention. The goal of the current study is to test the moderating roles of rumination and maladaptive investment in appearance in the association between body dissatisfaction and depression. It is suggested that those who are more maladaptively invested in their appearance may experience body dissatisfaction as particularly distressing because they place a high degree of importance on their appearance. As well, rumination may intensify the experience of body dissatisfaction and consequently, the degree of depression associated with it. From this, it was proposed that the association between body dissatisfaction and depression would be most pronounced for those who greatly value their appearance and who engage in ruminative thoughts. Participants (N = 498) responded to self-report measures of depression, body dissatisfaction, rumination, and maladaptive investment in appearance. Data analysis was conducted using moderated multiple regression. It was found that body dissatisfaction and rumination significantly predicted depression scores, and that rumination significantly moderated the association between body dissatisfaction in appearance. The results of this study suggest that body dissatisfaction is particularly likely to result in depression for those who tend to ruminate frequently. This study is important as its results may contribute to finer tailoring of interventions aimed at reducing or preventing depression. Interventions aimed at reducing ruminative thoughts about disliked aspects of appearance may reduce the contribution of body dissatisfaction to the development of depression. Limitations and future directions are discussed.