Body Image and Social Anxiety: Integration, Comparison, and Extension of Bioecological Models
Klingaman, Elizabeth Ann
Hoffman, Mary Ann
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Women entering their first year of college are at risk of developing both pathological body image and social anxiety. The bioecological framework of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 1977) was used to guide the selection and synthesis of three relevant models linking the following outcomes to various predictors relevant to first-year-to-college women: social physique anxiety as a subcomponent of body image concerns, and fear of negative evaluation as a subcomponent of social anxiety. While several differences were found between Asian, Black, and White racial groups, the new bioecological model fit well across all racial groups, explaining between 52% and 57% of the variance in social physique anxiety, and from 40% and 47% of the variance in fear of negative evaluation. For all racial groups, social physique anxiety mediated the relation between self-esteem and fear of negative evaluation. Self-esteem was not supported as a moderator of the relation between body mass index and social physique anxiety. Results suggest the importance of assessing social physique anxiety among college women, as well as studying the bioecological model longitudinally. Further results and implications are discussed for theory, research, and practice.