Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Marriage and Family Therapy
Linda Stone FIsh
attachment, body image, mother-daughter, perception
Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Using Bowlby's attachment theory and a family systems perspective, this study explored the relationships between attachment between mother and daughters, daughter's body image, and the daughter's perception of what her mother thinks of her body. It was hypothesized that secure attachment would correlate with satisfied body image in the daughters and the belief that their mother's had a satisfied image of the daughter's body. Participants were female undergraduate students recruited from a private university. Participants completed self-report questionnaires about attachment (Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, IPPA), body image (Contour Drawing Rating Scale, CDRS), and a researcher created demographic questionnaire. The IPPA and CDRS had two versions, one asking participants to answer based on their current age and the other asking them to report about when they were 11 years old. Attachment was negatively correlated to the daughter's perception of what her mother thinks of her body both at participants' current age and at age 11. Daughter's body image was positively correlated to the daughter's perception of what her mother thinks of her body again both at current age and age 11. A secure attachment between mothers and daughters was related to the daughter believing her mother has a positive image of her body. This in turn was related to the daughter having a positive image of her own body as well. Attachment and body image accounted for 25% during pre-adolescence and 22% during adolescence of the variance is what the daughter thinks her mother thinks of the daughter's body. Further research is needed to expand on the development of body image during pre-adolescence and its connection to attachment and familial relationships.
Bex, Jaclyn, "AN EXAMINATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ATTACHMENT STYLE AND BODY IMAGE IN ADOLESCENT GIRLS: A FOCUS ON THE MOTHER-DAUGHTER RELATIONSHIP" (2014). Dissertations - ALL. 135.