Do young women with tattoos have lower self-esteem and body image than their peers without tattoos? A non-verbal repertory grid technique approach
Public Library of Science (PLoS) -- PLOS ONE
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0206411

Available evidence regarding the reasons for people to acquire body markers such as tattoos is contradictory. The present study was designed to investigate the relationship between self-esteem and body image in young women with tattoos. To this end, the repertory grid technique (RGT) was adapted and used to assess differences between women with and without tattoos in terms of self-esteem and body image. Sixty young women with tattoos and sixty young women without (all aged 18–35 years), performed the Color RGT in order to evaluate the relationship between self-esteem and body image. Compared to women without tattoos, women with tattoos showed significantly lower self-esteem and displayed stronger relationships between three constructs: ideal body, ideal self and tattooed woman status. No significant differences in body image were detected between the two groups. Women with tattoos were characterized by an association between body image and self-esteem, while women without tattoos did not display such a correlation. Thus, it appears that links between self-esteem, ideal body, ideal self and constructs of "woman with tattoos" may play a role in tattooing behavior in young women.