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Research

Jessica Alleva

Position
Assistant professor

E-mail
jessica.alleva@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Themes

  • - Body image
  • - Cognitive processes and biases
  • - Interventions, treatment

Research

The way we think and feel about our own body influences many aspects of our psychological and physical health. For example, negative body image (e.g., dissatisfaction with body weight and shape) is related to low self-esteem, disordered eating, and physical inactivity. My research focuses on improving our understanding of how negative body image develops, how it is maintained, and how it can be treated.

Teaching

I am the coordinator of the track Mind Your Body (of the course Discover Psychology). Mind Your Body focuses on the basic questions of body image research, such as “How do media affect our body image?” and, “How can body image be improved?”

I have been a PBL tutor for the following courses:

  • Discover Psychology (Track: Mind Your Body)
  • Social Psychology (University College Maastricht)
  • Self-Regulation
  • Research: How to do it
  • Writing Skills
  • Observation Skills
  • Sexuality

In addition, I have given lectures for Discover Psychology (Track: Mind Your Body), Social Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, Research: How to do it, Body and Behaviour, and Eating Disorders.

I also supervise bachelor and master students with regard to their theses and research experiments on various topics related to my research (e.g., body image, media influence, sexual objectification, cognitive processes, eating disorders).

International publications

Alleva, J. M. , Martijn, C., Veldhuis, J., & Tylka, T. L. (2016). A Dutch translation and validation of the Body Appreciation Scale-2: An investigation with university women in the Netherlands. Body Image, 19, 44-48.

Alleva, J. M., Veldhuis, J., & Martijn, C. (2016). A pilot study investigating whether focusing on body functionality can protect women from the potential negative effects of viewing thin-ideal media images. Body Image, 17, 10-13.

Alleva, J.M., , Martijn, C., & Jansen, A. (2016). Covariation bias in women with a negative body evaluation: How it is expressed and can it be diminished? Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 50, 33-39.

Alleva, J. M. , Sheeran, P., Webb, T. L., Martijn, C., & Miles, E. (2015). A meta-analytic review of interventions designed to improve body image. PLoS ONE, 10, e0139177.

Alleva, J. M. , Martijn, C., van Breukelen, G. J. P., Jansen, A., & Karos, K. (2015). Expand Your Horizon: A programme that improves body image and reduces self-objectification by training women to focus on body functionality. Body Image, 15 , 81-89.

Aspen, V., Martijn, C. , Alleva, J. M., Nagel, J., Perret, C., Purvis, C., Saekow, J., Lock, J., &   Taylor, C. B. (2015). Decreasing body dissatisfaction using a brief conditioning intervention. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 69 , 93-99.

Martijn, C., Alleva, J. M. , & Jansen, A. (2015). Improving body satisfaction: Do strategies targeting the automatic system work? European Psychologist, 20 , 62-71.

Alleva, J. M., Lange, W-G., Jansen, A., & Martijn, C. (2014). Seeing ghosts: Negative body evaluation predicts overestimation of negative social feedback. Body Image, 11 , 228-232.

Alleva, J. M., Martijn, C., Jansen, A., & Nederkoorn, C. (2014). Body language: Affecting body satisfaction by describing the body in functionality terms. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 38 , 181-196.

Alleva, J., Roelofs, J., Voncken, M., Meevissen, Y., & Alberts, H. (2014). On the relation between mindfulness and depressive symptoms: Rumination as a possible mediator. Mindfulness, 5 , 72-79.

Alleva, J., Jansen, A., Martijn, C., Schepers, J., & Nederkoorn, C. (2013). Get your own mirror: Investigating how strict eating disordered women are in judging the bodies of other eating disordered women. Appetite, 68 , 98-104.

Dutch publications

Alleva, J. M. , Schyns, G., & Martijn, C. (2014). Positief lichaamsbeeld: Wat betekent het werken aan een positief lichaamsbeeld voor de therapeut en de cliënt? [Positive body image: What can working on positive body image mean for client and therapist?]. Directieve Therapie, 34 , 250-256.

Alleva, J. M. (2014). Lichaam is meer dan uiterlijk: Het belang van lichaamsfunctionaliteit [The body is more than its appearance: The importance of body functionality]. De Psycholoog, 49 , 50-57.

Martijn, C., Alleva, J., & Jansen, A. (2012). “Help, Ik ben zo lelijk!” Nieuwe interventies om tevredenheid met eigen uiterlijk te vergroten [“Help! I’m so ugly!” New interventions to improve body satisfaction]. De Psycholoog, 47 , 10-18.

van Impelen, A., Niesten, I. J. M., Peters, M. J. V., Jelicic, M., Alleva, J., & Merckelbach, H. (2014). Miller Forensic Assessment of Symptoms Test (M-FAST): Official Dutch translation. Unpublished instrument.

Personal Interest

I am from Canada but have been living in the Netherlands for almost 10 years now. I live together with my husband and our two cats, Teagan and Juna. My hobbies include ballet, photography, watching movies, traveling, cooking, and eating.