Examining Relationships between Interoceptive Sensibility and Body Image in a Non-Western Context: A Study with Malaysian Adults

Jennifer Todd*, David Barron, Jane E. Aspell, Evelyn Kheng Lin Toh, Hanoor Syahirah Zahari, Nor Azzatunnisak Nor, Viren Swami

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research has indicated that there are significant associations between interoception and body image, with lower interoceptive sensibility (IS) associated with more negative body image and higher IS associated with more positive body image. However, it is unclear whether these relationships are replicable in populations outside of North America and Western Europe. To address this issue, we asked a sample of 815 Malaysian Malay adults to complete the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness, the Body Appreciation Scale2, the Functionality Appreciation Scale, the Photographic Figure Rating Scale (women only), and the Drive for Muscularity Scale (men only), using online survey software. There were significant positive correlations between IS and the positive body image indices for both women and men, but the associations between IS and negative body image were generally below thresholds for statistical significance. After controlling for body mass index, age, and gender identity, we identified significant associations between IS and all four indices of body image. Overall, these findings demonstrate that relationships between IS and facets of positive and negative body image are present in a non-Western setting. Furthermore, the direction and strength of relationships identified in the present study were consistent with previous findings from Western samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, Consultation
Issue number1
Early online date23 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • interoception
  • interoceptive sensibility
  • Malaysia
  • negative body image
  • positive body image

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Examining Relationships between Interoceptive Sensibility and Body Image in a Non-Western Context: A Study with Malaysian Adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this