Development and exploration of the gratitude model of body appreciation in women

Body Image. 2018 Jun;25:14-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2018.01.008. Epub 2018 Feb 8.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Eating / psychology
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Self Concept*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult