Although researchers and clinicians recognize the importance of positive body image for women's well-being, development of theoretical frameworks for understanding positive body image has not kept pace with research documenting its many benefits. The present study proposed and tested a comprehensive model linking gratitude, contingent self-worth, social comparison, body appreciation, and intuitive eating. Path analysis indicated that this model fit the data for a sample of college and online community women (N = 263). Gratitude was indirectly linked to body appreciation via lower investment in self-worth based on appearance and others' approval, and via lower engagement in eating and body comparison. Gratitude had a strong direct effect on body appreciation, and body appreciation accounted for a large portion (88%) of gratitude's relationship with intuitive eating. These results provide strong preliminary support for the model, revealing that gratitude, which can be improved via intervention, plays a key role in body appreciation.
Keywords: Body appreciation; Contingent self-worth; Gratitude; Intuitive eating; Path analysis; Social comparison.
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