WEIGHT-LOSS SUPPORT FROM A ROMANTIC PARTNER
Weight-loss treatment programs and spousal support. Weight-loss treatment programs have also examined the role of spousal support specifically as a moderator of treatment outcomes, and found that such social support is one of the few variables related to long-term success of weight reduction. One study showed the involvement of family, and particularly the spouse, in a behaviour modification program increased success rates throughout treatment. A meta-analysis by Black, Gleser, and Kooyers and a systematic review by McLean, Griffin, Toney and Hardeman both reported that including spouses in a weight-loss program increased the average weight loss during the period of treatment but not in the long-term. Moreover, providing the spouse with social support skills training further increased the long-term success of the weight-loss program, over and above the success due purely to the involvement of a spouse. Individual weight-loss support and romantic partners. Individuals who share a close relationship know one another’s needs more thoroughly and therefore should be able to provide Although intimate partners have the opportunity to be helpful in supporting weight-loss attempts, it is equally possible for these partners to obstruct weight-loss attempts. The broad social support literature indicates the importance of skilled supportive behaviours in providing effective support that will be appreciated by an intimate partner. In terms of specific weight-loss support, Parham outlines the difficulties of involving partners in weight-loss attempts, noting that dieting individuals often prefer not to involve their spouse. For the current research it was predicted that women’s perceptions of more frequent and helpful weight-loss support from their partners would be related to more frequent use of healthy dieting techniques. It was predicted that more frequent and helpful support would be related to greater weight-loss over time. Predictions regarding the perception of weight-loss support frequency and helpfulness and how often the female dieter turns to unhealthy/extreme dieting techniques will be discussed later.