Nav: Home

Motherhood can deliver body image boost -- new study

June 19, 2019

New research indicates that perfectionism is related to breast size dissatisfaction, but only in non-mothers - suggesting that mothers are more comfortable with their bodies.

The study, carried out by Professor Viren Swami of Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and academics from Sapienza University of Rome, has been published in the journal Body Image.

Of the 484 Italian women surveyed, 69% reported breast size dissatisfaction with 44% wanting larger breasts. These findings are similar to a previous study carried out by Professor Swami focusing on women in the UK.

Perfectionistic self-presentation - the desire to create an image of flawlessness in the eyes of other people - is known to contribute towards negative body image.

The study found that breast size dissatisfaction was associated with higher levels of two of the three factors behind perfectionistic self-presentation (non-display of imperfection and perfectionistic self-promotion).

However, this association was not found among the 54% of women surveyed who were mothers. This was particularly the case among women who had more than one child.

Viren Swami, Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, said: "Our findings suggest that motherhood may help to decouple the link between perfectionistic self-presentation and breast size dissatisfaction.

"There are a number of potential reasons why the association between perfectionistic self-presentation and breast size dissatisfaction was significant only amongst non-mothers. There is the fact that becoming a mother naturally results in changes to the appearance of the breasts, particularly in terms of their size.

"But perhaps the most relevant is that becoming a mother - and particularly the experience of breastfeeding - may focus women's attention on breast functionality as opposed to focusing on the aesthetics of breasts and the body."
-end-


Anglia Ruskin University

Related Research Articles:

More Research News and Research Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...