The Development and Validation of Tools and Techniques to Assess Perceptions of Female Body Size/Shape

Maalin, Nadia (2020) The Development and Validation of Tools and Techniques to Assess Perceptions of Female Body Size/Shape. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

The Development and Validation of Tools and Techniques to Assess Perceptions of Female Body Size/Shape
Nadia Maalin - PhD - Psychology.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


Body image comprises two distinct yet interrelated components: i) the perceptual component which is the mental picture one has of their body and is measured by looking at body size/shape estimation accuracy, and ii) the attitudinal component which is a person’s thoughts and feelings about their body size/shape and encompasses broader psychological constructs such as self-esteem and depressive thoughts. Disturbances in either or both components can have implications for a person’s livelihood, may result in extreme body change behaviours, and are prevalent features of eating disorders (e.g. Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa) and obesity.

The studies presented in this thesis were designed to develop and build on existing techniques used in perceptual body image research. Throughout seven main studies, novel measures/techniques were developed and the reliability, validity, and utility were assessed. Throughout the studies, the interactions between perceptual and attitudinal body image and the person’s own body and demographic characteristics were considered.

In Study 1, an existing body size modification intervention was explored in a replication and extension study to provide further evidence of its utility in a sample of females with heightened body concerns. In Study 2, the baseline measurements from Study 1 were compared to a sample of females with low/mild body concerns, to further develop understanding of the relationship between perceptual and attitudinal components. In both studies, interactive computer software was used to assess perceptions of current and ideal body size/shape using a 3D female model.

In Study 3, body size discrimination was investigated using a psychophysical task and novel computer-generated stimuli calibrated for Body Mass Index (BMI). Using these findings, new perceptually-spaced body scales were created and their reliability and validity were investigated in non-eating-disordered females (Study 4).

For studies 5, 6, and 7, a 3D body scan and composition database from 221 Caucasian females aged 18 - 45 was developed, to generate novel 3D stimuli. In Study 5, a selection of the scans varying in BMI, combined with a standardised computer-generated skin texture, were used to investigate BMI category perceptions and attitudes towards weight loss, in a sample of UK adults. For studies 6 and 7, a novel interactive body scale was created, using a statistical mapping between 3D shape and body composition (fat mass and skeletal muscle mass). The plausibility, reliability and validity of this novel scale were investigated and perceptions of female body composition ideals were explored in male and female observers.

Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:46287
Deposited On:31 Aug 2021 14:39

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