Self-esteem mediates the associations among negative affect, body disturbances, and interpersonal problems in treatment-seeking obese individuals
Background This study investigated the relationship among negative affect, body image disturbances (BID), and interpersonal problems, and the mediating effect of self-esteem in a group of treatment-seeking obese individuals. Methods Four hundred twenty-two obese patients (85 males and 337 females) completed standardised measures that assessed negative affect, BID, self-esteem, and interpersonal problems. Results Structural equation modelling showed that obese individuals with greater negative affect and BID reported higher interpersonal problems and that self-esteem mediated the relationships among negative affect, BID, and interpersonal problems. Conclusions The mediating role of self-esteem in the relationship between interpersonal functioning and psychological distress needs to be considered when selecting psychologically based interventions that aim to improve the well-being of treatment-seeking obese patients. © 2014 The Australian Psychological Society.