ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2023, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 815-826.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00815

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The determinants and consequences of positive body image and its promotion strategies

YANG Chao1(), DONG Zhijie1, WEN Haoyan1, ZHOU Yizhou2, WANG Yanli3, YUAN Fangzhou1()   

  1. 1School of Psychology, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550025, China
    2School of Educational Sciences, Chongqing Normal University, Chongqing 401331, China
    3School of Education Science, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou 22116, China
  • Received:2022-08-28 Online:2023-05-15 Published:2023-02-13
  • Contact: YANG Chao, YUAN Fangzhou;


Early research focused on the prevention and improvement of negative body image, but with the rise of positive psychology, researchers realized that positive body image and negative body image are not polar parts of body image. Positive body image is an important protective factor for an individual's mental health, and it is a multifaceted structure that includes but is not limited to body appreciation. In order to guide researchers to change the positive perspective of body image research and promote people's physical and mental health and self-improvement, this study summarized positive body image, sorted out the influencing factors, protective effects, and promotion strategies of positive body image, and looked forward to future research directions, so as to provide some theoretical reference for the research on the Sinicization of positive body image.
This study believes that positive body image refers to the individual's cognitive acceptance of his own body, and the appreciation of the uniqueness and function of the body, as well as the active processing and protection of body evaluation information, which has the effect of internal and external gain on the individual. Taking the biopsychosocial model and the operational definition of body image as the theoretical framework, the study found that positive body image is affected by biological factors such as gender, age, and body mass index, psychological factors such as personality factors, cognitive mode, and interoception, as well as socio-cultural factors such as important others, mass media, and values, and has a protective effect on individual physical cognition, emotional experience, and behavior regulation, among which the body mass index, neuroticism, and perception of pressure from important others and mass media are prominent. Psychological and sociocultural factors have a greater influence on an individual's positive body image than biological factors. At the same time, functional-focused intervention and self-compassion-based intervention have become the two most commonly used promotion strategies, the former is more effective, while the latter has more advantages in the application and promotion. Specifically, existing studies have mostly focused on women, but ignored the gender differences in positive body image and the influence of men on women's positive body image construction. At the same time, positive body image is developmental, and current cross-sectional research cannot elucidate in detail the mechanism of transition from negative body image to positive body image and ignores the content integrity and object applicability of positive body image enhancement strategies, especially the influence of important others (especially parents) on individual positive body image. In addition, due to cultural differences in positive body image, the development of Sinicized measurement tools is particularly important.
Future research can enrich the theoretical model of positive body image based on intersection theory, and deepen people's understanding of its antecedents and consequences by constructing the biopsychosocial model of positive body image. We can further explore the age characteristics of body image and its relationship with executive function through longitudinal tracking design combined with the recall method, such as recalling and retelling the experience of body image transformation, and clarify the occurrence mechanism of positive body image. Based on the complete characteristics of positive body image, future research should consider family factors and demographic differences of intervention targets to ensure the comprehensiveness, applicability, and timeliness of promotion strategies. At the same time, based on the cultural background of our country, we should construct the structure and assessment tools for positive body image with Chinese characteristics, guide the public to form healthy body image and promote the study of positive body image in China.

Key words: positive body image, negative body image, promotion strategies

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