Appearance related concerns across the general and clinical populations
This thesis explores appearance related concerns across the general and clinical populations. Section A briefly describes the different parts comprising this thesis and discusses the common themes that emerged. In Section B, a survey of 300 young adults is reported which was conducted with an aim to identify the nature, extent and correlates of appearance dissatisfaction in this population. It was found that a surprisingly large percent of men and women were dissatisfied with their appearance and that this discontent was not limited to shape/size concerns in women and muscularity concerns in men as has been suggested by previous investigators. In terms of predictors of appearance dissatisfaction, appearance schemata, social support and psychological distress were the stronger with investment in appearance (appearance schemata) being the most significant. This survey was followed up by two qualitative studies aiming to identify and explore in more depth the factors that contribute to the development or not of appearance dissatisfaction. Themes such as parental modelling, self-esteem social support, media influence emerged in the participants' discourse as important in the development or not of their dissatisfaction with appearance. In Section C the consultation revised the existing measures of appearance (dis)satis faction and recommended the most developmentally appropriate and psychometrically rigorous for the assessment of individuals with cleft lip/palate condition. From the review of the relevant literature it became obvious that the assessment of appearance related aspects is still at an early stage. 'Me consultation also briefly summarizes the effects on body image, self-concept, and social interaction of cleft lip/palate condition. Finally in Section D, a review paper critically summarizes the literature on body image and quality of life in patients with head and neck cancer and makes recommendations for further developments in research and clinical practice in this area.