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Title

Romantic Partner Body Valuation and Commitment as Predictors of Self-Esteem

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation (Electronic Copy Not Available)

Keywords

Body image; Man-woman relationships;

Abstract

According to objectification theory, women react negatively when valued for their bodies by men (Bartky, 1990; Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997); women who are valued for their bodies by a romantic partner, however, experience increased levels of relationship satisfaction (Meltzer & McNulty, 2014). Whether women want to be valued for their bodies depends on the interpersonal context. People who feel valued for their body by an intimate partner may feel increased levels of self-esteem and more acceptance, which may lead to increased body esteem. The current study examined this possibility, predicting that perceived partner body valuation will be positively correlated with own self-esteem and body esteem, and that this effect will be stronger for highly committed couples. Because partner physical attractiveness is more strongly associated with relationship satisfaction among men than women (Meltzer, McNulty, Jackson, & Karney, 2014), we also predicted that this effect will be stronger in women than in men. Moreover, given the literature that demonstrates a positive correlation with body valuation and relationship and sexual satisfaction in women (Meltzer & McNulty, 2014), we expected that participants who report body valuation from their partners will report greater relationship and sexual satisfaction. Participants in romantic relationships completed measures of perceived partner body valuation and commitment, body esteem, self-esteem, relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. Perceived partner body valuation was positively correlated with own body esteem in an online community sample and own self-esteem in college students, and this effect was moderated by high perceived partner commitment in both samples.


Start Date

3-4-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

3-4-2018 1:30 PM

Faculty Advisor

Helen Harton

Department

Department of Psychology

Embargo Date

3-30-2018

Electronic copy is not available through UNI ScholarWorks.

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Apr 3rd, 11:00 AM Apr 3rd, 1:30 PM

Romantic Partner Body Valuation and Commitment as Predictors of Self-Esteem

According to objectification theory, women react negatively when valued for their bodies by men (Bartky, 1990; Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997); women who are valued for their bodies by a romantic partner, however, experience increased levels of relationship satisfaction (Meltzer & McNulty, 2014). Whether women want to be valued for their bodies depends on the interpersonal context. People who feel valued for their body by an intimate partner may feel increased levels of self-esteem and more acceptance, which may lead to increased body esteem. The current study examined this possibility, predicting that perceived partner body valuation will be positively correlated with own self-esteem and body esteem, and that this effect will be stronger for highly committed couples. Because partner physical attractiveness is more strongly associated with relationship satisfaction among men than women (Meltzer, McNulty, Jackson, & Karney, 2014), we also predicted that this effect will be stronger in women than in men. Moreover, given the literature that demonstrates a positive correlation with body valuation and relationship and sexual satisfaction in women (Meltzer & McNulty, 2014), we expected that participants who report body valuation from their partners will report greater relationship and sexual satisfaction. Participants in romantic relationships completed measures of perceived partner body valuation and commitment, body esteem, self-esteem, relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction. Perceived partner body valuation was positively correlated with own body esteem in an online community sample and own self-esteem in college students, and this effect was moderated by high perceived partner commitment in both samples.