Pandemic vs body: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected young adults' body appreciation?

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  • The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted young adults’ physical and mental health. As such, it is imperative that we examine how this life-altering event has influenced their thinking about their bodies despite imminent stress and change. Therefore, we examined young adults’ body appreciation and wellbeing by comparing secondary data of young adults’ ratings on the Body Appreciation Scale 2, before the COVID-19 pandemic, to young adults during the pandemic. Additionally, we examined how body appreciation may have been influenced by pandemic impacts, such as overall physical health, mental health, socioeconomic status, and the increase of videoconferencing communication methods. Independent-samples t-tests determined that ratings of body appreciation were significantly lower for the pandemic sample compared to the pre-pandemic sample (t=4.44 , p=.000). A simple linear regression accounted for 27.3% of the variance in body appreciation, F(5, 274)=21.94, p<0.001. Specifically, overall physical health and impact of videoconferencing methods negatively predicted body appreciation (β =-.335, p<.001; β =-.380, p<.001). We will utilize these results to foster discussion around the importance of bolstering body appreciation and encouraging positive health behaviours in current health care practices as well as informing future preventative efforts and intervention.

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    Conference/Workshop Presentation
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International