Utilization of The Mirror Interview to Explore the Influences of Parents and Objectification on the Body and Disordered Eating Behaviors

  • Esther McBirney-Goc The New School for Social Research, Mount Sinai School of Medicine


In the present study, The Mirror Interview is utilized to explore the impact of self objectification, culture, and parent representations on body image dissatisfaction and disordered eating. The Mirror Interview, Objectified Body Consciousness Scale, and Eating Attitudes Test-26 were administered to undergraduate women (N = 100). Participants were randomly assigned to be asked questions regarding their feelings about their bodies and the influence of their parents while sitting face-to-face with the interviewer (without-mirror-group) or while looking at their own reflections in a full-length mirror (with-mirror-group). Significant differences were found on Mirror Interview codes between with- and without-mirror-groups across a range of categories. Parent representations as measured by The Mirror Interview in the with-mirror-group significantly contributed to the amount of disordered eating variance explained by a hierarchic regression model, even after accounting for age, BMI, and body shame. Parent representations did not significantly contribute to the disordered eating variance explained by the model in the without-mirror-group. The findings demonstrate the significant impact of parent representations on disordered eating behaviors, and indicate that looking at one’s reflection during The Mirror Interview is an integral part of the task.


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