Psychosocial moderators of the relationship between body dissatisfaction and symptoms of eating disorders: A look at a sample of young Italian women

A. Dakanalis, M. A. Zanetti, G. Riva, M. Clerici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introduction Various psychosocial variables may affect the strength of the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and women's eating disorder symptomatology. Objective Informed by Tylka (2004) and Brannan and Petrie (2011) research, the current study examined body surveillance and self-esteem as well as three additional theoretically relevant variables (social interaction anxiety, internalization of media ideals and attachment anxiety) as potential moderators of this relationship. Method A cross-sectional design was used. A sample of 538 young Italian women completed self-report questionnaires. Results Hierarchical moderated regression indicated that self-esteem buffered the deleterious effects of body dissatisfaction, whereas social interaction anxiety, body surveillance, internalization of media ideals and attachment anxiety intensified the primary body dissatisfaction-eating disorder symptomatology relationship. Conclusion Several risk and protective factors were found to interact with body dissatisfaction to influence its relation to women's eating disorder symptomatology. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-334
Number of pages12
JournalRevue Europeene de Psychologie Appliquee
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013



  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Eating disorders
  • Moderators
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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