College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

The Relationship between Perceived Social Support and Severity of Body Dysmorphic Disorder Symptoms: The Role of Gender

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-15-2011

Keywords

Body Dysmorphic Disorders, Signs and Symtoms, Gender, Social Support

Publication Title

Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria

ISSN

1516-4446

Volume

33

Issue/No.

3

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Whether social support is associated with severity of body dysmorphic symptoms is unknown. To address this gap in the literature, the present study aims to examine the association between three domains of perceived social support (i.e., family, friends, and significant others) and severity of body dysmorphic disorder symptoms.

METHOD: Participants (N = 400) with symptoms consistent with diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder completed measures of symptomatology and social support via the internet.

RESULTS: More perceived social support from friends and significant others was associated with less severe body dysmorphic disorder symptoms for males, and more perceived social support from family and friends was associated with less severe body dysmorphic disorder symptoms among females. Additionally, gender moderated the association between perceived social support from significant others and symptom severity, such that perceived social support from a significant other was significantly negatively associated with body dysmorphic symptom severity in males, but not females.

CONCLUSION: The present study implicates social support as an important area of future body dysmorphic disorder research.

DOI

10.1590/S1516-44462011000300006