The Happy American Body 2.0: Predictors of affective body satisfaction in two U.S. national internet panel surveys

David A. Frederick, Justin R. Garcia, Amanda N. Gesselman, Kristen P. Mark, Elaine Hatfield, George Bohrnstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The first national study of body image was reported four decades ago in the article The Happy American Body (Berscheid et al., 1973). To provide a modern follow-up to this study, we used two Internet panel surveys of U.S. adults to examine feelings about appearance (Survey 1: Married N = 1095; Single N = 5481) and weight, appearance, body, and muscle size/tone (Survey 2: N = 1601). Mean ages across samples for men and women ranged from 42-53. On the positive side, many men and women were somewhat-to-very satisfied with their appearance (67 %; 57 %), overall body (61 %; 46 %), weight (54 %; 42 %), and muscle tone/size (56 %; 41 %). Mean gender differences were small (Cohen's ds = 0.18–0.32), as were sexual orientation differences within each gender (ds = |0.00-0.25|). Looking at negative body image, fewer men than women were somewhat-to-very unhappy with their appearance among married (19 %; 29 %) and single participants (29 %; 35 %), and fewer men were somewhat-to-extremely dissatisfied with their appearance (18 %; 24 %), body (27 %; 39 %), weight (36 %; 49 %), muscle tone/size (27 %; 41 %). Nearly one-fifth of men (18 %) and one-fourth of women (27 %) were very-to-extremely dissatisfied with at least one of these traits, highlighting the importance of body image interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-84
Number of pages15
JournalBody Image
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body image
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Prevalence
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • General Psychology

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