My research project
How do women experience and make sense of behaviour/commentary about their appearance from romantic partners, and do they perceive this to have an impact on their appearance anxiety?
The prevalence of people experiencing anxiety around appearance in our current society is high, putting a strain on mental health services in the NHS. Past research has highlighted that anxiety around appearance is associated with the experience of many mental health difficulties such as eating disorders. Furthermore, the literature suggests a role for romantic partners commentary and accommodation behaviour in contributing to the experience of concerns around appearance in partners. A lack of research examines how romantic partners may affect their partner’s anxiety around appearance and qualitative research that would enable in-depth exploration of female partner’s experiences is lacking. This novel study aims to explore a sample of women’s experience of and perceived impact of romantic partner’s commentary and behaviour on their anxiety around their appearance. This could contribute to our understanding of the interpersonal processes underlying this perceived effect and will use Cognitive Behavioural Theory as a lens through which to analyse the information. The proposed study will examine 6-15 semi-structured interviews using a deductive reflexive thematic analysis to examine the female experience of romantic partner commentary and behaviour on their anxiety around their appearance and the interpersonal processes underlying this. This research aims to gather in-depth information that could inform current clinical practice with those with mental health difficulties involving anxiety around appearance.