Body image and disordered eating in romantic relationships

Kristen Rahbar Morrison, Brian D. Doss, Marisol Perez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study explored the relations between eating, weight, and shape (EWS) concerns and romantic relationships in college women and their partners. Eighty-eight heterosexual couples (1 76 individuals) completed two assessments spaced two months apart. Results indicated that neither women's relationship functioning nor perceptions of their partners' desired changes in their bodies predicted changes in women's EWS concerns. However, after controlling for women's values, men's relationship functioning, as well as men's desired change in their partners' bodies, predicted changes in women's EWS concerns. There was partial support for the idea that EWS constructs would predict changes in relationship functioning; specifically, several types of women's EWS concerns predicted changes in women's and men's relationship outcomes two months later. Additionally, after controlling for women's perceptions, men's desired change in their partners' bodies predicted change in women's relationship outcomes. Overall, this study found some support for the bidirectional nature of relations between women's EWS concerns and their romantic relationship functioning, and it highlighted the importance of obtaining men's reports when exploring these relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-306
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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