chapter  4
13 Pages

Body shame: Issues of assessment and measurement


At first sight the assessment of body shame raises a fundamental question, in that approaches to the measurement of attitudes to and feelings about the way one’s body looks do not explicitly address the concept of shame. Rather, they have been concerned with body image distortion (Slade & Russell, 1973), body image avoidance (Rosen et al., 1991), dysmorphophobia (Rosen, Reiter & Orosan, 1995), appearance schemas (Cash & Labarge, 1996) and selfconsciousness of appearance (Carr, Harris & James, 2000). However, the conceptual elaboration of shame by Gilbert (Chapter 1, this volume) clearly reveals a commonality of meaning with the constructs underlying assessment scales for appearance-related difficulties. There is also a clear and extensive overlap in the scales’ attention to associated emotions, behaviour and cognitions with the multiple dimensions of shame as delineated by Gilbert (op. cit.), for example, external social, internal self-evaluative, emotional and behavioural dimensions.