How do you feel when you check your body? Emotional states during a body-checking episode in normal-weight females

Autor(en): Wilhelm, Leonie
Hartmann, Andrea S. 
Cordes, Martin
Waldorf, Manuel 
Vocks, Silja 
Affiliationen: Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Universität Osnabrück, Knollstrasse 15, 49069, Osnabrück, Germany. leonie.wilhelm@uni-osnabrueck.de. Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Universität Osnabrück, Knollstrasse 15, 49069, Osnabrück, Germany. Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Universität Osnabrück, Knollstrasse 15, 49069, Osnabrück, Germany. Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Universität Osnabrück, Knollstrasse 15, 49069, Osnabrück, Germany. Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Universität Osnabrück, Knollstrasse 15, 49069, Osnabrück, Germany.
Stichwörter: Young Adult; Body Weight; Body Image/psychology; Body Dissatisfaction/psychology; Feeding and Eating Disorders/psychology; Humans; Arousal; Adult; Female; Emotions
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020
Enthalten in: Eating and Weight Disorders
Band: 25
Ausgabe: 2
Startseite: 309
Seitenende: 319
Zusammenfassung: 
PURPOSE Cognitive-behavioral theories posit that body checking decreases negative emotions, but increases levels of arousal. However, few studies have investigated the effects of body checking on the course of emotional states. Therefore, the current study examined how normal-weight females with higher and lower eating, weight, and shape concerns feel during a checking episode of their most-liked and least-liked body parts. METHODS In an online design, levels of negative emotions and arousal were retrospectively assessed before, during, immediately after, and 15 min after an individually remembered body-checking episode. Participants (N = 355) also rated their subjective satisfaction with specific body parts. RESULTS Levels of negative emotions were lower 15 min after the checking episode of most-liked and least-liked body parts than before the episode. However, negative emotions increased during the checking episode of least-liked body parts, but subsided thereafter. The levels of arousal increased during the checking episodes of most-liked and least-liked body parts and decreased afterwards, and females with higher concerns reported greater levels of arousal than females with lower concerns. Furthermore, females with higher concerns reported more body checking than those with lower concerns. CONCLUSIONS The results support the assumptions of the cognitive-behavioral theories, as body checking led to a decrease in negative emotions in the longer term, and levels of arousal increased during the checking episode. The greater levels of arousal in females with higher concerns, and their pronounced body-checking behavior, might enhance their existing concerns and increase the risk of disordered eating. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE Level V, descriptive study.
DOI: 10.1007/s40519-018-0589-8

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