The effectiveness of self-compassion and self-esteem writing tasks in reducing body image concerns
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This study investigated whether single-session self-compassion and self-esteem writing tasks ameliorate the body image concerns evoked by a negative body image induction. Ninety-six female university students aged 17–25 years (Mage = 19.45, SD = 1.84) were randomly assigned to one of three writing treatment groups: self-compassion, self-esteem, or control. After reading a negative body image scenario, participants completed scales measuring state body appreciation, body satisfaction, and appearance anxiety. They then undertook the assigned writing task, and completed the three measures again, both immediately post-treatment and at 2-week follow-up. The self-compassion writing group showed higher post-treatment body appreciation than the self-esteem and control groups, and higher body appreciation than the control group at follow-up. At post-treatment and follow-up, self-compassion and self-esteem writing showed higher body satisfaction than the control. The groups did not differ on appearance anxiety. Writing-based interventions, especially those that enhance self-compassion, may help alleviate certain body image concerns.
Personality, Abilities and Assessment