Religion and spirituality: Pathways to positive body image

Marika Tiggemann, Kristy Hage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Positive body image is a multidimensional construct referring to love, respect, and acceptance of one's body, including aspects inconsistent with sociocultural ideals. The aim of the present study was to investigate potential pathways leading from religion and spirituality to positive body image. Participants were 345 women who completed questionnaire measures of engagement with formal religion, spirituality, gratitude, self-objectification, and positive body image. Both engagement with formal religion and spirituality were found to be positively associated with positive body image. Further, mediation analyses showed that the relationship between spirituality and positive body image was mediated by gratitude and reduced self-objectification. It was concluded that a broader spiritual consciousness may assist women to develop a loving, appreciative, and respectful relationship with their bodies. In addition, gratitude and a de-emphasis on external appearance provide useful goals and potential intervention points for promoting positive body image.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalBody Image
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Self- objectification
  • Gratitude
  • Spirituality
  • Religion
  • Body appreciation
  • Positive body image


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