Personality and body dissatisfaction: an updated systematic review with meta-analysis

Mark S. Allen, Davina A. Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This research synthesis explored whether major personality dimensions relate to body dissatisfaction. A comprehensive literature search identified 26 studies (37 independent samples) that met inclusion criteria (364 effect sizes; n = 39,109). Data were analyzed using inverse-variance weighted random effects meta-analysis. Mean effect sizes from 30 individual meta-analyses provided evidence that neuroticism (r =.30), extraversion (r = –.17) and conscientiousness (r = –.16), and to a lesser extent openness (r = –.10) and agreeableness (r = –.08), relate to body dissatisfaction. Effect sizes were smaller in models that controlled for body mass index, with non-significant effects for openness and agreeableness. There was some evidence of publication bias and substantial heterogeneity in computed averages. Random effects meta-regression showed that the association between neuroticism and body dissatisfaction decreased as the sample age increased. Measurement was the most important moderator across personality dimensions, with measures of appearance evaluation and body appreciation often showing smaller associations than other measures of body dissatisfaction. Effect sizes were not moderated by sample sex or world-region. Overall, findings show that higher levels of neuroticism, and lower levels of extraversion and conscientiousness, are associated with a greater risk of body dissatisfaction in men and women irrespective of actual body weight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalBody Image
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Big five
  • Body image
  • Body satisfaction
  • Five-factor model
  • Research synthesis


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