Self-disgust as a potential mechanism underlying the association between body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours

Umair Akram*, Sarah Allen, Jodie C. Stevenson, Lambros Lazarus, Antonia Ypsilanti, Millicent Ackroyd, Jessica Chester, Jessica Longden, Chloe Peters, Kamila R. Irvine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined whether self-disgust added incremental variance to and mediated the multivariate association between measures of body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. We hypothesized that self-disgust would be associated with suicidal ideation above the effects of body image disturbance, and that self-disgust would mediate the relationship between body image disturbance and suicidal ideation. A total of N=728 participants completed The Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire, The Self-Disgust Scale, and the Suicidal Behaviours Questionnaire-Revised. Suicidality was significantly related to increased levels of self-disgust and body image disturbance, whereas self-disgust was associated with greater body image disturbance. Linear regression analysis showed that self-disgust was associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviours, over and above the effects of body image disturbance. Multiple mediation modelling further showed that self-disgust mediated the relationship between body image disturbance and suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Our findings highlight the role of self-disgust in the context of body image disturbance and support the notion that body image disturbance is associated with aversive self-conscious emotions. Interventions aiming to reduce the risk of suicidality in people with body image disturbance may address self-disgust and negative self-conscious emotions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)634-640
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume297
Early online date26 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

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