Exacting Beauty: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment of Body Image Disturbance
Tennis star Andre Agassi said, "Image is everything." This may seem like an exaggeration, but for many people, how they feel about their appearance means everything. Body image is a powerful factor in how people feel about themselves. If one suffers from body image disturbance, it often leads to a host of difficulties, ranging from low self-esteem to bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and body dysmorphic disorder.
Successfully integrating explanations from social, interpersonal, feminist, and behavioral-cognitive psychology, Exacting Beauty is packed with invaluable research, case histories and descriptions, and treatment guidance. Clinicians, practitioners, and researchers will value this book for its rich, up-to-date coverage of how psychology grapples with the troubling relationship between psychological health and body image.
This softcover edition is a re-release of the 1998 hardcover edition.
List of Exhibits and Tables
List of Appendixes
An Introduction to the Concept of Body Image Disturbance: History, Definitions, and Descriptions
I. An Overview: Prevalence, Diversity, Assessment, and Treatment
- The Scope of Body Image Disturbance: The Big Picture
- An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Strategies
II. Societal and Social Approaches
- Sociocultural Theory: The Media and Society
- Social Comparison Processes
III. Interpersonal Approaches
- Appearance-Related Feedback
- Interpersonal Factors: Peers, Parents, Partners, and Perfect Strangers
IV. Feminist Approaches
- Feminist Perspectives
- Sexual Abuse and Sexual Harassment
V. Behavioral, Cognitive, and Integrative Approaches
- Behavioral Aspects of Disturbance: Conditioning, Context, and Avoidance
- Cognitive-Processing Models
- Future Directions: Integrative Theories, Multidimensional Assessment, and Multicomponent Interventions
About the Authors
J. Kevin Thompson, PhD, is a professor of psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He received his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Georgia in 1982 and has been at the University of South Florida since 1985.
He previously authored Body Image Disturbance: Assessment and Treatment (Pergamon Press, 1990) and edited Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity: An Integrative Guide for Assessment and Treatment (APA, 1996). He has been on the editorial board of the International Journal of Eating Disorders since 1990.
His research interests in the field of body image include developmental factors, sociocultural variables, and assessment issues.
Leslie J. Heinberg, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her PhD in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida in 1993. She completed a predoctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina and followed with a 2- year fellowship specializing in behavioral medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has been a member of the Johns Hopkins faculty since 1995.
She has written three book chapters and published extensively in the area of body image, eating disorders, chronic pain, and women's health. Her research interests in the field of body image include sociocultural influences, diverse populations, and the effects of disfiguring illnesses and injuries on body image.
Madeline Altabe, PhD, is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she also has a private practice. She received her BA from New College in Sarasota, Florida, in 1987 and her PhD from the University of South Florida in 1991.
She has written extensively in the area of body image, including chapters in Innovations in Clinical Psychology, An Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology and Body Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity: An Integrative Guide for Assessment and Treatment. Her research interests in the field of body image include cognition, cultural diversity, and examining eating disorders from a cognitive perspective.
Stacey Tantleff-Dunn, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she is the director of the Laboratory for the Study of Eating, Appearance, and Health (LEAH). She received her BA from Georgetown University in 1989 and her PhD from the University of South Florida in 1995.
She has published extensively in the area of body image, including articles on breast–chest size preferences, social comparison processes, and cognitive-processing models. Her research interests in the field of body image include interpersonal factors, appearance-related feedback, cosmetic surgery, and developing a school-based antiteasing program. She also has a part-time private practice.
Exacting Beauty is a comprehensive text covering the area of body-image concerns. The book is a valuable resource, as well as interesting reading, for anyone with an interest in body image, dieting behaviours, and eating disorders. I would consider it a required reference text for researchers in the area; however, practitioners will also find the book helpful since the authors aim to make the information highly accessible and practical to use…Exacting Beauty is a valuable and comprehensive text written in a scholarly fashion, offering discussion of a broad range of issues related to body-image research, assessment, and treatment.
—Australian Psychologist, November 1999
Readers will thank the authors…for creating a professional volume that is unique in its accessibility (in format and in language), relevance (for a range of audiences), and breadth… For all of these reason, this book is an outstanding (dare I say essential?) resource for clinicians, researchers, and students interested in body-image disturbance and its treatment. Clinicians will appreciate the presentation and discussion of assessment tools and how they apply to therapy and prevention. Researchers will value the up-to-the-minute review of empirical support and assessment tools for different conceptual approaches to understanding body-image, and the authors' success at relating empirically-derived risk factors to specific treatments. Finally, students (particularly those looking for a thesis topic) and experiences researchers alike will appreciate the authors' thoughtful efforts to uncover areas where future research is needed… The accessibility, relevance, and breadth of this book succeed in impressing the reader with the progress made in this field in the past 20 years. Readers will learn how far we have come in understanding, assessing, and treating body image disturbance, as well as directions to pursue in the future. This book has earned a permanent place in my reference library, and I would jump at the chance to use this book as part of a seminar on body image and eating disorders.
—Lori M. Irving, PhD, Department of Psychology, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA