Association between Body Image and Marital Satisfaction in Married Adults


 Body Image, Marital Satisfaction, Adults, married, body image variables.

How to Cite

Azra Shaheen, Uzma Ali, Haresh Kumar, & Pirbho Mal Makhija. (2016). Association between Body Image and Marital Satisfaction in Married Adults. Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 12, 420–425.


Objective: To determine the association between body image and marital satisfaction in married adults.
Study Design: A Correlation/ Cross-sectional study
Setting and Duration: The study was carried out in Karachi, Pakistan, over a period of three months.
Subjects and Methods: The study was conducted after seeking approval from the Board of Advance Studies and Research (BASR), University of Karachi, Pakistan. A total sample of 200 married adults (100 males and 100 females) was selected purposively for the study. The age range of the target group was 22 to 40 years (mean age 34 years; SD=5.13) with minimum of 2 years and maximum of 20 years of marriage. Entire sample had middle socioeconomic status and their education level was from graduation and above. The subject completed the Demographic Information, Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) and Kansas marital satisfaction scale. Responses were scored according to the producer given in the manuals.
Results: Mean ± SD of age was 34.27±7 years. Mean ± SD of duration of marriage is 2 years and 5 months. Significant (P<.05) correlation was found between body image and marital satisfaction among married adults andanalysis of different variables of body image showed that fitness evaluation and body area satisfaction were positively correlated with marital satisfaction while appearance evaluation and subjective weight were negatively correlated. Above body image variables were also found to be significant predictors of marital satisfaction in married adults
Conclusion: It is to be concluded that body image is an important predictor in marital satisfaction.


Cash TF, Melnyk S, Hrabosky JI. The assessment of body image investment: An extensive revision of the Appearance Schemas Inventory. Int J Eat Disord 2004; 35: 305-316.

Hill CE. Overview of the exploration stage. In Hill CE, ed. Helping skills: Facilitating exploration, insight and action. 3rd ed., Ch. 4). Washington, DC: APA 2010.

Tiggemann M. Sociocultural perspectives on human appearance and body image. In: Cash TF, Smolak L, Eds. Body image: A handbook of science, practice, and prevention. 2nd ed. New York, NY: The Guilford Press 2011: Ch. 2, 12-19.

Markey C, Markey P. Romantic relationships and body satisfaction among young Women. J Youth Adolesc 2006; 35: 271-279.

Braun MF, Bryan A. Female waist-to-hip and male waist-to-shoulder ratios as determinants of romantic partner desirability. J Soc Pers Relat 2006; 23: 805-819.

McNulty JK, Neff LA, Karney BR. Beyond initial attraction: physical attractiveness in newlywed marriage. J Fam Psychol 2008; 22(1): 135-43.

Swami V, Frederick DA, Aavik T, et al. The attractive female body weight and female body dissatisfaction in 26 countries across 10 world regions: Results of the international body project I. Pers Soc Psychol Bull 2010; 36(3): 309-325.

Sobal J, Rauschenbach BS, Frongillo EA. Marital status changes and body weight changes: A US longitudinal analysis. Soc Sci Med 2003; 56(7): 1543-1555.

Cash TF, Thériault J, Annis NM. Body image in an interpersonal context: Adult attachment, fear of intimacy and social anxiety. J Soc Clin Psychol 2004; 23: 89-103.

Meltzer AL, McNulty JK. Body image and marital satisfaction: Evidence for the mediating role of sexual frequency and sexual satisfaction. J Fam Psychol 2010; 24(2): 156-64.

Pujols Y, Meston CM, Seal BN. The association between sexual satisfaction and body image in women. J Sex Med 2010; 7(2 Pt 2): 905-916.

McCall-Hosenfeld J, Liebschutz J, Spiro A, Seaver M. Sexual assault in the military and its impact on sexual satisfaction in women veterans: A proposed model. J Womens Health 2009; 18: 901-909.

Robertson R. Body image, self-esteem and interpersonal relationships in adulthood. Master thesis. Auckland University of Technology, Faculty of Health and Sciences 2009.

Paap CE, Gardner RM. Body image disturbance and relationship satisfaction among college students. Pers Indiv Differ 2011; 51(6): 715-719.

Cash TF, Fleming EC, Alindogan J, Steadman L, Whitehead A. Beyond body image as trait: The development and validation of the Body Image States Scale. Eat Disord J Treat Prev 2002; 10: 103-113.

Schumm WA, Nichols CW, Schectman KL, Grigsby CC. Characteristics of responses to the Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale by a sample of 84 married mothers. Psychol Rep 1983; 53: 567-572.

Howard TD. Skin deep: Body image and interpersonal relationship quality in College women. J Interdiscipl undergraduate res 2014; 6: 1-24. [Retrieved June 27, 2014

Pollock ED. The relationship between mental health, physical health, physical appearance and marital dissatisfaction. Master thesis of science, marriage and family therapy. University of Maryland, college park 2006.

Pole M, Crowther JH, Sehell J. Body dissatisfaction in married women: The role of spousal influence and marital communication patterns. Body Image 2004; 1: 267-278.

Swami V, Airs N, Chouhan B, Leon M, Towell T. Are there ethnic differences in positive body image among female British undergraduates? Eur Psychologist 2009; 14: 288-296.

Bove CF, Sobal J. Body weight relationships in early marriage. Weight relevance, weight comparisons, and weight talk. Appetite 2011; 57(3): 729-742.

Bohn K, Doll HA, Cooper Z, O'Connor M, Palmer RL, Fairburn CG. The measurement of impairment due to eating disorder psychopathology. Behav Res Ther 2008; 46: 1105-1110.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2016 Azra Shaheen, Uzma Ali, Haresh Kumar , Pirbho Mal Makhija