The relationship between body dysmorphic disorder symptoms and self-construals

Bianca Phillips, Richard Moulding, Michael Kyrios, Maja Nedeljkovic, Serafino Mancuso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Cognitive models of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) suggest that beliefs and evaluations related to self-concept are central to the maintenance of the disorder, but such beliefs have received little empirical attention. This study examined the relative importance of contingent self-worth and self-ambivalence to BDD symptoms in comparison to their importance to obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia symptoms. Method: The sample comprised 194 non-clinical participants (female, N = 148; males, N = 46) with a mean age of 24.70 years (standard deviation = 9.34). Participants were asked to complete a battery of self-report questionnaires. Results: While significant relationships were found between the self-beliefs and symptoms of all three disorders, some specificity was found in the relationships. Conclusions: Self-worth based upon appearance was most important in BDD, while contingent self-worth based on the approval of others was important in social phobia. Self-ambivalence was associated with each disorder. Implications and limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Psychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • body dysmorphic disorder
  • cognition
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • self
  • social phobia


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