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The Influence of Body Investment on Depression in Chinese College Students: A Moderated Mediating Effect

Jingjing Wang1, Xiangli Guan1,*, Sumei Yin1, Sha Shen2, Xuejiao Li1, Md Zahir Ahmed3, Mary C. Jobe4, Oli Ahmed5
1 School of Teacher Education, Yuxi Normal University, Yuxi, 653100, China
2 College of Educational Science and Technology, Northwest Minzu University, Lanzhou, 730030, China
3 School of Psychology, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, 730070, China
4 Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington DC, 20052, USA
5 Department of Psychology, University of Chittagong, Chattogram, 4331, Bangladesh
* Corresponding Author: Xiangli Guan. Email:

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2022, 24(1), 39-50.

Received 04 October 2021; Accepted 10 November 2021; Issue published 20 December 2021


An individual’s perception, attitude, feeling and behavior about their body are important factors for mental health (depression). This study aims to explore the impact of body investment on depression, and the role of self-efficacy and self-esteem in this connection. A hypothetical model about the relationship between body investment, selfefficacy, self-esteem and depression was tested. Using convenient sampling methods, a self-rated cross-sectional survey comprised of paper-based and online modes was conducted among 1,164 college students in Yunnan Province, China from July 2021 to August 2021. The data collection used the body investment scale, self-efficacy scale, self-esteem scale and depression scale. The results show that there is a low to moderate positive correlation (ranging between –0.11 and –0.59) between the research variables. The body investment of college students has a negative predictive effect (B = 16.23, SE = 0.65) on depression. This connection is also regulated by the mediating role of self-esteem and self-efficacy. All these factors explain 37.83% variability of research participation. These findings show how body investment affects the depressive state of college students. Further, these results help to demonstrate that self-efficacy and self-esteem are academically important for optimizing students’ depression, so as to promote a good mental state.


Depression; body investment; self-esteem; self-efficacy

Cite This Article

Wang, J., Guan, X., Yin, S., Shen, S., Li, X. et al. (2022). The Influence of Body Investment on Depression in Chinese College Students: A Moderated Mediating Effect. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 24(1), 39–50.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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