Understanding Relations Between Intolerance of Uncertainty, Social Anxiety, and Body Dissatisfaction in Women

Body dissatisfaction (BD) is highly prevalent among young females and is associated with negative mental health outcomes. Social anxiety (SA) has been identified as an important determinant of BD; however, potential factors underlying SA-related BD remain unstudied. Research indicates that intolerance of uncertainty (IU), the tendency to respond negatively to uncertainty, may be critical for developing and maintaining SA.


The current study investigated whether IU is associated with SA and whether SA, in turn, is related to BD. In a cross-sectional study, 139 women completed an online survey measuring IU, SA, and BD. Correlation analyses showed that IU, SA, and BD were strongly positively associated. A mediation analysis revealed that higher levels of IU were indirectly related to more BD through higher levels of SA. A direct effect of IU on BD was also found. These findings suggest that individuals with SA-related BD may benefit from interventions targeting IU.

Jojanneke M. Bijsterbosch, Femke van den Brink, Manja Vollmann, Paul A. Boelen, and Lot C. Sternheim | 2020
In: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease : ISSN: 0022-3018 | 208 | 10 | october | 833-835
Anxiety Symptoms, Females, Netherlands, Self Concept, Self Esteem, Shame