The Relationship between Self-Objectification and Life Satisfaction: The Role of Rumination
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Self-objectification is known to predict low life satisfaction in young adult women. However, there is reason to assume that due to a difference in coping strategies, some women are more prone to the negative effects of self-objectification than others. In this regard, the present study investigated how self-objectification and ruminative coping are related to life satisfaction in young women. In a cross-sectional design, 127 Dutch young women completed an online survey measuring self-objectification, ruminative response style and life satisfaction. A multiple regression analysis was conducted with self-objectification, ruminative response style and the interaction term of self-objectification x ruminative response style as predictors and life satisfaction as outcome. Firstly, it was expected that self-objectification would have a negative relationship with life satisfaction. Furthermore, it was expected that the relationship between self-objectification and life satisfaction would be moderated by ruminative response style. Both hypotheses were confirmed. The results indicated that the negative relationship between self-objectification and life satisfaction is fully conditional on the tendency to ruminate in response to negative cognitions. Only if the tendency to cope with rumination is high, a negative relationship between self-objectification and life satisfaction is established. These findings have several implications to increase life satisfaction in women. In clinical practice, mindfulness interventions should be used to reduce ruminative coping and thereby the negative effects, self-objectification has on mental health. Furthermore, informing citizens about the effects of coping strategies may lead women from future generations to be more satisfied with their lives.