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Physical Self-perception, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Smoking Behavior

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Objective : To examine the relationship of physical self-perceptions, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), and smoking status among college-age women.

Methods : A cross-sectional study design was selected to study women (n= 364) who completed a 79-item questionnaire that measured physical self-perceptions and BDD.

Results : BDD items, including fear of weight gain, social avoidance and comparison, along with perceptions of physical health and medical use, predicted smoking behavior.

Conclusions : Negative perceptions of physical health and 3 diagnostic components associated with BDD may moderate smoking cessation attempts and maintain smoking behavior among collegeage women.

Keywords: body dysmorphic disorder; body image; physical self-perception; smoking; tobacco use

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Assistant Professor, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Sport Science, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, GA.

Publication date: May 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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