Does "body talk" improve body satisfaction among same-sex couples?

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Research suggests the important role of romantic partners in shaping how individuals feel about their bodies (e.g., Markey & Markey, 2013, 2014), but the processes that result in changes in body satisfaction within relationships have rarely been examined. To investigate how partners may potentially affect body image, 72 lesbian couples and 72 gay male couples (total N = 288) completed body image assessments on their own and with the help of their partners. Multilevel modeling revealed that both men and women reported an improvement in body satisfaction after talking with their partners while completing the body image assessment together. Improvement in body satisfaction appeared to result from participants’ reconsideration of their body ideals, not their appraisal of their current bodies. Implications of these findings for improving body image in the context of relationships are discussed.

AuthorCharlotte H.Markey, Meghan M.Gillen, Kristin J.August, Patrick M.Markey, Christopher S.Nave
JournalBody Image
Year2017

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