The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between orientation to outward appearance, body awareness, symptom perception, and gender, from Pennebaker's competition of cues model (1982). We expected a negative relationship between orientation to outward appearance and body awareness, and a positive one between body awareness and symptom perception. Furthermore, we hypothesized that both relationships would be stronger for women than for men. Respondents were 250 male and 275 female college students (mean age 20.4). Questionnaires were administered reflecting all concepts under study. Women compared with men appeared to be more oriented to and less satisfied with their outward appearances, and they were higher in body awareness, symptom perception, and external information. No sex differences were found in negative affectivity; there was a trend toward a difference regarding somatization. Orientation to outward appearance, external information and somatization had positive effects on body awareness, that were unaffected by gender. Body awareness and symptom perception were positively related, without any gender-effect. Women's as well as men's symptom perception was, additionally, positively related to somatization, negative affectivity, and body dissatisfaction. It was concluded that, in students, the internal and outward body are experienced as a unity. The results further indicate that the competion of cues model is valid only under certain conditions.
|Journal||Personality and Individual Differences|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|