Body image concerns are common among breast cancer survivors and women in midlife. However, effective interventions are lacking for breast cancer survivors. This may be related to prior research having examined non-modifiable and medicalised influences on body image, instead of modifiable sociocultural and psychological influences. An adaptation of the ‘Tripartite Influence Model of Body Image’ was tested among women with (n = 169; mean age = 49.9) and without (n = 323; mean age = 47.6) a history of breast cancer, to investigate whether psychological and sociocultural influences on body image were similar between groups. Structural equation modelling revealed the model fit was satisfactory. Media pressure had an indirect effect on body image among both groups, and a direct effect among women treated for breast cancer. An additional influence of relevance only to women without breast cancer was pressure from friends. Overall, findings indicate common influences of media pressure and appearance comparisons on body image among both groups of women. This suggests that with some tailoring, existing evidence-based body image interventions designed for midlife women targeting these factors may also be relevant and beneficial for breast cancer survivors.
Lewis-Smith, H., Diedrichs, P. C., Bond, R., & Harcourt, D. (2020). Psychological and sociocultural influences on body image among midlife women with and without a history of breast cancer: Testing the Tripartite Influence Model of Body Image. Body Image, 35, 114-125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.08.011