Emotional awareness, gender, and peculiar body-related beliefs

Matthew Tyler Boden, Sasha Gala, Howard Berenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has broadly established that emotional disturbances are associated with body image disturbances. This is the first study to examine links between facets of emotional awareness and peculiar body-related beliefs (PBB), or beliefs about an imagined or slight defect in one's appearance or bodily functioning. In a sample of college students (n=216), we found that low emotional clarity (the extent to which the type and source of emotions are understood) was associated with higher PBB in both women and men, and the relation between emotional clarity and PBB was further moderated by attention to emotions (the extent to which emotions are attended to) and gender. Men with low attention to emotions and women with high attention to emotions both experienced higher levels of PBB if they also reported low levels of emotional clarity. This interactive effect was not attributable to shared variance with body mass index, neuroticism or affect intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)942-951
Number of pages10
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Body dysmorphic disorder
  • Body image
  • Emotional awareness
  • Emotional clarity
  • Peculiar beliefs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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