The Association between Romantic Attachment and Positive Body Image in Young Adult Women: The Mediating Role of Self-Compassion
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Aiming at identifying underlying factors of positive body image, this study explored associations between romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance and positive body image as well as the mediating role of self-compassion in these relationships. In a cross-sectional design, 251 young women completed an online survey study, including the Body Appreciation Scale (BAS-2), Self-Compassion Scale (SCS) and the Experience in Close Relationship Scale (ECR-S). The data were analysed through correlation analyses and mediation analysis. The correlation analyses showed negative associations between both romantic attachment dimensions and self-compassion and a positive association between self-compassion and positive body image. The mediation analysis results revealed that higher levels on either romantic attachment dimension were indirectly related with lower positive body image through lower self-compassion. These findings suggest that self-compassion is an essential underlying mechanism in the relation of romantic attachment and positive body image. Insecurely attached individuals and clinical practices are encouraged to provide more care and emphasis on self-compassion to increase positive body image and subsequently strengthen mental health. For clinical practices, a greater focus on self-compassion interventions in the context of attachment-related body image is suggested.