The Effect of Parental Warmth on Girls' Drive for Thinness: Do Both Parents Matter?
Jones, Maegan Elizabeth
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Recent research has suggested that both maternal and paternal warmth may play a role in the development of drive for thinness in girls. This study used 115 adolescent girls’ self-reports to examine the impact of the combined effect of parental warmth and pressure to be thin on adolescent girls’ drive for thinness, dependent on whether or not parents had similar or differing levels of warmth. Using path analysis, results suggested that when parents had differing levels of warmth, the relationship between warmth and drive for thinness was fully mediated by pressure to be thin. However, when parents had similar levels of warmth, there was still a direct effect between parental warmth and girls’ drive for thinness, indicating that partial mediation had occurred. These findings indicate that the combined effect of parents who are high in warmth may serve as a protective factor against poor body image in adolescent girls.