The aim of this work was to investigate the links between the trauma of loss, depression and body image in young adults. In connection to the attachment theory (psychodynamic point of view), and from the perspective of the contemporary psychology of personality and the social psychology we accepted the presumption stating that the experience of trauma of loss in life of young adults can be connected with the occurrence of depressive states and with changes in their body image. In terms of controversies, concerning the definition of the term 'trauma' in the literature, a list of several losses was created, that we defined as the 'trauma of loss'. The concept of body image was defined as a mental representation of a human's body, which is usually unconscious and have cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects. Body image is a part of person's identity. The subjects of this study were 150 students of five different universities in Warsaw (30 persons from each university) in the age between 18 and 26 years, such as the University of Warsaw, the Warsaw University of Technology, the Medical University of Warsaw, the Warsaw School of Economics and the Academy of Fine Arts. The subjects filled in a survey, concerning different forms of losses, that they could possible experience in their lives, 'The Multidimensional Bod - Self Relations Questionnaire - (MBSRQ)' of Thomas F. Cash and 'The Beck Depression Inventory - Second Edition - (BDI -II)' of Aaron T. Beck. The obtained results show that the experience of trauma of loss in young adults is connected with the experience of depression and with changes on some dimensions of their body image. The outcome of the analysis proved that the persons 'with trauma' differ from the persons without losses in such categories of perceptions of their body, like: the evaluation of the appearance, the fitness orientation, the physical fitness, the somatic health and the overweight preoccupation. Depending on the localization in time of the traumatic experience (in the last 12 months, earlier and in childhood) the body image of the subjects differed.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.