Catherine Seo, School of Psychology
Body image dissatisfaction is a significant and painful issue for women, that comes with high costs that include physical and emotional health, self-esteem, and economic impact. There are few interventions that have helped. Current research indicates meditation can help. This research advances that research to shed light on whether Mindfulness Meditation (MM) and Innate Compassion Training (ICT), a form of Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM) from the Tibetan tradition, can help build self-compassion and improve body image. One hundred eighty-six women were recruited and received one of three meditation interventions (MM, ICT, BI/Control) to determine whether (a) MM, ICT, or BI/Control improves the five outcomes measured; (b) MM and ICT improve the five outcomes more than BI/Control; and (c) ICT improves the five outcomes more than MM. Women were recruited to complete all measures as a pre-test, randomized to participate in online MM, ICT, or BI/Control conditions, and asked to complete all measures in a post-test after completion of intervention. In all conditions, all outcomes improved from pre-test to post-test. MM and ICT did not improve outcomes more than BI/Control, and ICT did not improve outcomes more than MM. In conclusion, all conditions improved outcomes, so it is likely that meditation could have a positive impact on body image satisfaction. Due to attrition, we were unable to generate enough power to test for group differences, which should be remedied by future research.