The present research aims to investigate the relationship between positive and negative comments about general appearance and weight received by the partner, couple satisfaction and individual body dissatisfaction. 82 heterosexual couples were given a questionnaire designed to measure the examined variables. The research hypotheses were tested through a series of path analyses based on the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, in order to capture reciprocal influences between partners. In both partners, to receive positive comments about weight is associated with lower body dissatisfaction. Negative comments about weight and shape received by women are associated with their male partner’s body dissatisfaction. With respect to couple satisfaction, comments about general appearance received by each partner are associated with dyadic satisfaction, perception of comprehension and esteem, and relational communication reported by the partner who receives them. For self-disclosure this effect is significant only among women; among men comments on general appearance are associated with higher self-disclosure reported by their female partner. From a practical point of view these results suggest that interventions aimed to enhance couple satisfaction could be directed to improve partner communication also with respect to appearance. Moreover, interventions designed to reduce body dissatisfaction in both genders should consider the role of the partner as a significant source of influence.
Keywords: Appearance commentary, partner, couple satisfaction, body image, gender, couple relationship
Giulia Rosa Policardo, Camilla Matera, Amanda Nerini, Cristina Stefanile, How do you see me? Appearance commentary from partner, body image and couple satisfaction: an empirical study in "PSICOLOGIA DELLA SALUTE" 2/2018, pp. 137-157, DOI:10.3280/PDS2018-002011