Dr Valentina Cazzato from the University of Liverpool presents her research on body image.
16:00 - 17:00
Lectures, talks and seminars
Psychology, Department of
When body appearance changes as we age: body shape (mis)perceptions in young and middle-aged women, Dr Valentina Cazzato - University of Liverpool
When Eating Disorders or body image conflicts are mentioned, the picture that comes to mind is one of youth. Yet more and more research suggests that the risk for disordered eating commonly found among young adult women persists into midlife. Extreme weight loss behaviours, such as purging, strict dieting, and laxative use, are prevalent among midlife women and have increased in recent years. Hence, midlife women experience unprecedented stress too. The limited research to date onto Eating Disorders in older women so far have only focused on previously validated and reliable scales to assess body image. Yet, there is a need for more psychometric testing of common measures of body image across the life span in adult women. Using different methodological approaches, this talk will bring together the findings from empirical studies that focus on changes of visual (mis)representation of the body in women across the lifespan. More specifically, my talk will focus on the factors underlying body image concerns and body size (mis)perception in both young and in middle-aged women, hinting at the risk for disordered eating commonly found among young women may also persist later into midlife. Clinical implications and future directions are also discussed.