Insecure attachment : a predictor of body image dissatisfaction in Irish women

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Timony, Orlaith
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BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Body image and attachment styles in the female population have received much academic attention over the years. This study involved 69 Irish women between the ages of 17 and 36, exploring body image dissatisfaction in relation to attachment styles with one's parents. The main prediction of this research was Jhat women scoring high in body image dissatisfaction and eating attitudes would also score high in insecure attachment. Attachment styles were examined using The Relationship Questionnaire (BartholOlnew and Horowitz, 1991), eating attitudes were measured using The Eating Attitudes Test (Gamer, Olmsted, Bohr, and Garfinkel, 1982) and body image was investigated using The Body image Self-Assessment, Size Acceptance and Shape Satisfaction Questionnaire (Mciza, Goedecke, Steyn, Charlton, Puoane, Meltzer, Levitt and Lambert, 2005). A demographic questionnaire was also administered to control for variables such as age, socioeconomic status, parental status and level of education. Results of this study supported the null hypotheses, finding no significant relationship between insecure attachment and low body image in Irish women. From this study it was concluded that body image dissatisfaction in Irish women is common in all attachment styles and not solely attributed to insecure attachment styles as is the case in many eating disordered studies.