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.
- body dysmorphic disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- social phobia