Young women lacking body confidence sought for appearance study

Issue date: 19 October 2016

Appearance experts at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) are seeking participants for a study aimed at helping young women feel better about their bodies.

Specialists in the psychology of appearance are appealing to women aged between 18 and 30 to play a role in a new research programme called Expand Your Horizon and Improve Your Body Image.

The online programme is free and women will receive a £10 gift voucher for joining in.

Dr Jessica Alleva, a visiting researcher at UWE Bristol's world-renowned Centre for Appearance Research, said: “Previous research has shown that many women are unhappy about their body, particularly their weight and figure. Body dissatisfaction can have negative consequences such as low self-esteem and unhealthy eating behaviour. Therefore, in this study, we would like to test two new programmes to improve body satisfaction.”

The study – a collaboration between UWE Bristol and Maastricht University - will take participants approximately two hours to complete, spread over five days. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two programmes. Both programmes involve completing three writing assignments and filling in questionnaires.

Dr Alleva said: “The word 'assignment' may sound daunting but don't worry. We simply mean that you will complete a written task that is fun and interesting, and designed to improve your body image. Your writing will not be graded - you do not need to worry about spelling, sentence structure or grammar, and there are no right or wrong answers.”

To participate in the study, women must have a good understanding of English and want to improve the way they feel about their body. All data gathered for the project will be anonymous and confidential.

For more information, or to take part in the study, email

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