Expand your horizon: A programme that improves body image and reduces self-objectification by training women to focus on body functionality

J.M. Alleva*, C. Martijn, G.J.P. van Breukelen, A. Jansen, Kai Karos

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study tested Expand Your Horizon, a programme designed to improve body image by training women to focus on the functionality of their body using structured writing assignments. Eighty-one women (Mage=22.77) with a negative body image were randomised to the Expand Your Horizon programme or to an active control programme. Appearance satisfaction, functionality satisfaction, body appreciation, and self-objectification were measured at pretest, posttest, and one-week follow-up. Following the intervention, participants in the Expand Your Horizon programme experienced greater appearance satisfaction, functionality satisfaction, and body appreciation, and lower levels of self-objectification, compared to participants in the control programme. Partial eta-squared effect sizes were of small to medium magnitude. This study is the first to show that focusing on body functionality can improve body image and reduce self-objectification in women with a negative body image. These findings provide support for addressing body functionality in programmes designed to improve body image.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
JournalBody Image
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

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