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24-11-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2017

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2017

Can Self-Reassurance Buffer against the Impact of Bullying? Effects on Body Shame and Disordered Eating in Adolescence

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2017
Auteurs:
Cristiana Duarte, José Pinto-Gouveia

Abstract

Bullying experiences are associated with body image and eating-related problems. Nonetheless, research on possible resilience factors is scant. The current study tested a path model examining the association between emotional memories of experiences of warmth and safeness, and self-reassuring abilities, and whether these abilities moderate the impact of bullying experiences on body image shame and eating psychopathology. We tested this model in a nonclinical sample of 609 adolescent girls aged 12–18 years. The examined model accounted for 22 % of body image shame variance and 51 % of eating psychopathology variance. Memories of warmth and safeness were significantly associated with self-reassurance, and negatively linked to body image shame and eating psychopathology. Self-reassurance significantly moderated the association between bullying experiences and both body image shame and eating psychopathology. The present findings suggest the relevance of assessing the quality of interpersonal experiences reported by adolescents and their potential association with self-reassuring abilities. Moreover, these results suggest that the ability to reassure and soothe the self may have a buffering effect against the negative impact of bullying experiences on adolescents’ body image and eating behaviors.

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