ABSTRACT

Appearance management is a serious issue for adults and young people in Korean society. People of various ages have used diverse means to improve their appearances. This study focused on dieting as an appearance management behavior in female adolescents. Dieting behaviors are not just a means to improve appearance; they may also relate to individuals’ beliefs and self-control. The importance of individual psychological/personality factors cannot, therefore, be ruled out. Such factors can help explain personality factors explain “what causes a compulsive diet and what factors can alleviate it”. This study reviewed the literature on perfectionism and self-control as individual personality factors, and empirically examined the effects of these variables on perceived body distortion and dieting behaviors. We performed a structural equation model analysis to verify our hypothesis. The results are as follows: we found perfectionism to be positively related to perceived body distortion and dieting behaviors; we also found self-control to be negatively related to perceived body distortion though unrelated to dieting behaviors; finally, our analysis identified a relationship between perceived body distortion and dieting behaviors. These results indicate that perfectionism and self-control should be considered when conducting guidance and counseling sessions on issues related to dieting behaviors for adolescent’ appearance management. This paper concludes by discussing the study’s implications and limitations.

KEYWORD

perfectionism, self-control, perceived body distortion, dieting behaviors, adolescent

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