Consistent with the view that disgust might be involved in persistent body dissatisfaction, there is preliminary evidence showing a positive correlation between measures of negative body image and indices of both trait disgust and self-directed disgust. In two correlational studies among undergraduates (N = 577 and N = 346, respectively) we aimed at replicating and extending these findings by testing a series of critical relationships, which follow from our hypotheses that 1) trait disgust propensity would increase the risk of developing a negative body image by increasing the likelihood of feeling self-disgust, and 2) trait disgust sensitivity would heighten the impact of self-disgust on the development of persistent negative body appraisals. Replicating previous research, both studies showed that negative body image was positively related to self-disgust, disgust propensity and disgust sensitivity. Mediation analyses showed that, in line with our model, self-disgust partly accounted for the association between disgust propensity and negative body image. Although disgust sensitivity showed an independent relationship with body image, disgust sensitivity did not moderate the association between self-disgust and negative body image. All in all, findings are consistent with the view that self-disgust-induced avoidance may contribute to persistent negative body appraisals.
Negative Body Image - Relationships with Heightened Disgust Propensity, Disgust Sensitivity, and Self-Directed Disgust