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Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance


Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

We live in a society in which messages associating physical attractiveness with success and happiness are pervasive. There is an epidemic of appearance concerns amongst teenagers and adults in westernised countries and body image dissatisfaction is now considered normative. Large numbers of people experience negative impacts on wellbeing and, for many adolescents, adults, and even children, appearance concerns are influential in choices about a range of health behaviours. The challenges facing them include difficulties with social encounters and the problem of having to cope with negative self perceptions.

The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance is a comprehensive reference text written by experts in the field. It examines how people feel about the way they look, and why it is that some people are happy with their appearance whilst increasing numbers are troubled by the way they look - reporting that these appearance-related concerns affect many aspects of their lives including relationships, health and well-being. It considers the influence of other people and how the media affects thoughts and behaviours related to appearance. It explores the experiences of people living with a disfigurement in a society that seems to be increasingly focussed on appearance and the pursuit of an idealised image of beauty, size and weight.

Exploring a topic that has been often neglected in the psychological literature, this book will be invaluable for health, clinical, and social psychologists, health professionals working with patients with visible differences, and those in the field of public health and education.

About the Author

Professor Rumsey is VTCT Professor of Appearance Research at UWE and is Co-Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR). Following the completion of her PhD "Psychological Problems Associated with Facial Disfigurement" in 1983, Nichola has built an international reputation for her research in this field and has attracted funding from a variety of bodies to support research on appearance. Nichola was awarded a personal Chair by UWE in 2002. She was elected President of the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 2003-4 (the first psychologist to be elected to this position), and Chair of the British Psychological Society's Division of Health Psychology from 2005-6. She was awarded honorary membership of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in 2009.

Dr Harcourt was appointed Reader in Health Psychology at UWE in 2006, and is Co-Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR). Her interest in the psychological consequences of changes to appearance led her to conduct her PhD research into women's experiences of mastectomy and breast reconstruction after a diagnosis of cancer. Her PhD was supervised by Professor Nichola Rumsey, with whom she has worked closely since the inception of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) in 1998. She was Chair of the British Psychological Society's Division of Health Psychology from 2009-10.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Nichola Rumsey and Diana Harcourt

Setting the Scene

1. Section Overview

2. Appearance and Society, Hannah Frith

3. Embodiment and Appearance, Malcolm MacLachlan, Grainne Ni Mhaille, Pamela Gallagher and Deirdre Desmond

4. Cross-cultural Differences, Hannah Falvey

5. Challenges in Health Care Provision in the UK, Esther Hansen and Peter Butler

6. Challenges in Health Care Provision in the USA, Valerie Lamaine and Andrea Pusic

7. Challenges in Health Care Provision in Resource Poor Countries, Tom Potokar and Patricia Price

8. A Social Perspective in Biomedical Technologies and Appearance, Julie Kent

9. Section Summary and Synthesis

Who is affected, in what way, and why?

10. Overview

Across the lifespan

11. Appearance in Childhood, Lina Smolak

12. Appearance in Adulthood, Marika Tiggemann and Julie Slevec

13. Appearance in Later Life, Lucie Baker and Eyal Gringart

Individual differences in adjustment and distress

14. Gender, Helen Falkner

15. Lesbian, Gay and Bisexualities, Appearance and Body Image, Caroline Huxley and Nikki Hayfield

16. Culture and Ethnicity, Habib Nqvi and Krysia Saul

17. Influence of the Media, Emma Halliwell and Phillippa Diedrichs

18. The Role of the Family, Rebecca Bellew

19. Influence of Peers, Lina Ricciardelli and David Mellor

20. Individual Differences in Adjustment, Timothy Moss and Ben Rosser

Consequences of appearance concerns

21. Appearance and Exercise, James Byron-Daniel

22. Eating Behaviour, Irmgard Tischner and Helen Malson

23. Appearance Concerns, Dietary Restriction and Disordered Eating, Victoria Lawson

24. Cosmetic Procedures, Canice E. Crerand, Leanne Magee and David B. Sarwer

Experiences of people who have a visible difference

25. Congenital Conditions, Kristin Billaud-Feragen

26. Trauma - with special reference to burn injury, Julie Wisely and Sarah Gaskell

27. Visible Difference Associated with Disease: Skin conditions, Christine Bundy

28. When Treatment Affects Appearance, Heidi Williamson and Melissa Wallace

29. Summary and Synthesis

What needs to change and how can change be achieved

30. Section Overview

Societal Interventions

31. Role of the Media, Barry Gunter

32. Persuading the Public: New face values for the 21st Century, James Partridge

33. Changing the Provision of Care in Health Settings, Julia Cadogan

34. Interventions for Families and Health Care Professionals, Susan Brown

35. Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery, Alexandra Clarke

Interventions at an individual or group level

36. School Based Interventions, Phillippa Diedrichs and Emma Halliwell

37. Therapeutic Interventions: Evidence of effectiveness, Elizabeth Jenkinson

38. Computer Based Psychosocial Interventions, Alyson Bessell

39. Using Appearance Concerns to Promote Health, Sarah Grogan and Daniel Masterson

40. Summary and Synthesis

Research Issues

41. Section Overview

42. Methodological Issues in the Study of Body Image and Appearance, Ross Krawczyk, Jessie Menzel and J. Kevin Thompson

43. Gaining Insights from Population Studies, Martin Persson

44. Mixed Methods: The best of both worlds, Emma Dures

45. Online Research, Neil S. Coulson

46. Using Novel Methods in Appearance Research, Diana Harcourt

47. Promoting Participation and Involvement in Research, Amanda Bates

48. Summary and Synthesis

49. The Psychology of Appearance: The future, Nichola Rumsey and Diana Harcourt

Product Details

Rumsey, Nichola (edt)
Oxford University Press (UK)
Rumsey, Nichola
Harcourt, Diana
Clinical Psychology
Psychology, Clinical
Psychology : General
Publication Date:
7 x 9.8 x 1.6 in 3.15 lb

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy

Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance New Hardcover
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Product details 736 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199580521 Reviews:
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