Publications & Reports

Effectiveness of a multi-session positive self, appearance, and functionality program on women's body satisfaction and response to media.

Mulgrew KE, Prichard I, Stalley N, Lim MSC
University of the Sunshine Coast School of Social Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore DC, Queensland, Australia. Electronic address: [email protected]


Women’s relationship with their bodies may be improved through activities which encourage them to focus on the positive elements of their appearance, the functional qualities of their body, and positive aspects of themselves in general. This study examined the effectiveness a multi-session program addressing these elements. Across two online sessions, 117 Australian women (Mage=23.48) completed writing tasks about the positive elements of their appearance, body functionality, and who they are as a person, as well as engaging with functionality-focused public health campaigns. A control group completed matched tasks on stress management. Results showed that both groups had improvements across trait body appreciation, self-objectification, and weight concern across the program. Within-session state improvements were found across stress, body appreciation, appearance and functionality satisfaction for both groups. An online media exposure task was used one week post-program completion (n=81). Idealised media exposure reduced functionality satisfaction in both groups but did not impact any other outcome measure. Findings suggest that tasks encouraging positive reflections on appearance, functionality, and self are useful in improving women’s body satisfaction. Issues around choice of control group are discussed.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: Body Image
  • Published: 06/09/2019
  • Volume: 31
  • Pagination: 102-111