University of Sussex

File(s) not publicly available

Male and female body image and dieting in the context of intimate relationships

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:08 authored by Alice D Boyes, Garth J O Fletcher, Janet D Latner
The influence of family and peers on dieting and body image is well known, but, despite the centrality of romantic partnerships in the lives of adults, little research has investigated dieting and body image in the context of intimate relationships. This study investigated unhealthy dieting (e.g., skipping meals, vomiting), healthy dieting (e.g., reducing calories, reducing or eliminating snacks), and body satisfaction in intimate relationships in 57 predominantly unmarried couples, who were recruited in a college setting. The within-participant findings replicated prior research showing that women with higher self-esteem and lower depressive symptoms were more satisfied with their own bodies and dieted less. Controlling for body mass index and the relevant self-perceptions of each partner, the across-partner associations showed that men who had more depressive symptoms and were less satisfied with their relationships had female partners who dieted more and were less satisfied with their bodies. In contrast, men dieted more when their female partners had higher self-esteem and fewer depressive symptoms. These results suggest that psychological processes in intimate relationships are linked with dieting and body satisfaction but that these links are different for men and for women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)(journal abstract)


Publication status

  • Published


Journal of Family Psychology




American Psychological Association





Page range


Department affiliated with

  • Psychology Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Publications)


    No categories selected