Secure attachment, self-esteem, and optimism as predictors of positive body mage in women
Sandoval, Erin Leverenz
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This correlational cross-sectional study investigated body image from a positive psychology viewpoint by examining variables that were predicted to contribute to positive body image in women and testing a model describing the relationships among the variables. Negative body image has been correlated with many psychological problems in the literature, but less research has examined positive body image. Some questions addressed include: Is there a relationship between secure attachment and positive body image? Do self-esteem and optimism act as intervening variables in the predicted relationship between secure attachment and positive body image? To address these questions, data from 97 women were used in a structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis. Some of the hypotheses were supported, although the overall model was not. Secure attachment was found to be positively correlated with and predictive of self-esteem and optimism as hypothesized and in line with previous findings. Also as hypothesized, self-esteem and optimism were found to be moderately correlated. Self-esteem and optimism were not significantly related to body image in the SEM analysis and therefore the overall proposed model was not supported. In this sample, secure attachment was found to be the greatest predictor of positive body image. Attachment accounted for 40% of the variance in body image, 44% of the variance in optimism, and 25% of the variance in self-esteem.