Charismaphobia: Diagnosis and Measurement of the Psychodermatological Symptoms

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Background: Psychodermatology is a newly emerging field that associates cosmetic dermatology with psychopathology. It analyzes the psychosocial aspects of beauty and physical attraction. Attractive people, in almost all cultures, are taken positively, and the less attractive ones are ostracized. The social pressure of staying physically attractive may lead to several negative outcomes, which can be placed under a single heading of “charismaphobia” (i.e., the “fear of unattractiveness”). Objectives: The current study aimed to assess the diagnostic aspects of charismaphobia by developing and validating a new scale. Methods: This quantitative study was conducted on 2904 participants in 4 phases. The Charismaphobia Scale was developed and validated through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses (EFA/CFA). The convergent validity of the scale was determined through generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. Results: The finalized version of the Charismaphobia Scale comprised 19 items in English and reported 4 factors of charismaphobia (i.e., self-exhibition, narcissistic trends, media consumption, and charismaphobic anxiety). Marvelous sampling adequacy (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) = 0.946 and 0.871), highly significant adequacy of correlations between items (P = 0.000), excellent reliability (α = 0.939 and 0.843), strong factor loadings with no cross-loadings, adequate extractions of the items (all between 0.426 and 0.841), highly significant item-scale and item-total correlations (P < 0.001) were observed during the EFA and CFA. The convergent validity of the Charismaphobia Scale was found highly significant with generalized anxiety disorder (r = 0.327; P < 0.001), obsessive-compulsive disorder (r = 0.344; P < 0.001), and narcissistic personality disorder (r = 0.250; P < 0.001). Conclusions: The Charismaphobia Scale was developed and validated for the ease of clinical psychologists and dermatologists to assess the mental conditions underlying common dermatological problems.