Exploring self-compassion as a refuge against recalling the body-related shaming of caregiver eating messages on dimensions of objectified body consciousness in college women

Body Image. 2014 Sep;11(4):547-56. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.08.001. Epub 2014 Sep 7.


Guided by an overarching body-related shame regulation framework, the present investigation examined the associations between caregiver eating messages and dimensions of objectified body consciousness and further explored whether self-compassion moderated these links in a sample of 322 U.S. college women. Correlational findings indicated that retrospective accounts of restrictive/critical caregiver eating messages were positively related to body shame and negatively related to self-compassion and appearance control beliefs. Recollections of experiencing pressure to eat from caregivers were positively correlated with body shame and inversely associated with appearance control beliefs. Higher self-compassion was associated with lower body shame and body surveillance. Self-compassion attenuated the associations between restrictive/critical caregiver eating messages and both body surveillance and body shame. Implications for advancing our understanding of the adaptive properties of a self-compassionate self-regulatory style in mitigating recall of familial body-related shaming on the internalized body-related shame regulating processes of body objectification in emerging adulthood are discussed.

Keywords: Appearance control beliefs; Body shame; Body surveillance; Caregiver eating messages; College women; Self-compassion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Consciousness
  • Defense Mechanisms*
  • Empathy
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Recall
  • Self Concept*
  • Shame*
  • Southeastern United States
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Universities
  • Young Adult