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This substantive-methodological synergy applies mixture modeling to verify whether the elusive, yet widely endorsed, actual-ideal discrepancy (AID) model might be verified in specific subgroups. Relations between Actual and Ideal Appearance, Physical Self-Concept (PSC), and Global Self-Esteem (GSE) were assessed with Mixture Structural Equation Models in a large sample of youth (N = 1,693). The results revealed three profiles, one of which (25.7%) supported the predicted negative effect of Ideal Appearance on PSC. The relations seem to be more complex than assumed, such that the effects of Actual Appearance on PSC/GSE increase as ideal standards increase, and that the negative effects of ideal standards on PSC are only apparent when these standards are lower. These results suggest the need for a revised AID model where ideals play a weighting role in the relations between Actual Appearance, PSC, and GSE.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access

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Psychology Commons