Association between appearance schemas and personality traits

B. Maia, M. Marques, F. Carvalho

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review



Introduction: Personality traits play are related to many forms of psychological distress, such as body dissatisfaction. Objectives: To explore the associations between appearance schemas and personality traits. Methods: 494 university students (80.2% females; 99.2% single), with a mean age of 20.17 years old (SD=1.77; range:18-20), filled in the Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised, the NEO-Personality Inventory, and the Composite Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. Results: A significant difference was found in Self-evaluation Salience scores by sex [females (M=37.99,SD=7.82); males (M=35.36,SD=6.60);t(489)=-3.052,p=.002]. Having conducted correlations separately, by sex, Self-Evaluation Salience was correlated with Concern Over Mistakes (r=.27), Doubts about Actions (r=.35), and Socially-Prescribed Perfectionism (r=.23). For females, Self-evaluation Salience was correlated with Concern Over Mistakes (r=.34), Personal Standards (r=.25), Doubts about Actions (r=.33), Parental Expectations (r=.24), Parental Criticism (r=.24), Organization (r=.11), Socially-Prescribed Perfectionism (r=.31), Self-Oriented Perfectionism (r=.32), and Neuroticism (r=.33). Concerning Motivational Salience, in the total sample (not separately, by sex), this scale/dimension significantly correlated with Conscientiousness (r=. 18), Personal Standards (r=.23), Socially-Prescribed Perfectionism (r=. 10), and Self-Oriented Perfectionism (r=.29). Conclusions: Females seem to value more their self-appearance and, in females, the salience of appearance in life seems to be associated with maladaptive-perfectionism, as well as with adaptive-perfectionism. In males, the salience of appearance was only related with adaptive perfectionism. Males seem more concerned with their own standards, while for females other´s standards are also relevant. In females the level of salience of appearance in life seems to relate to the experience of feelings, such as anxiety/depression (neuroticism). The motivation to improve appearance seemed to be particularly related, in both sex, to adaptive perfectionism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S750-S750
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • University students
  • Appearance schemas
  • Personality


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