John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and Eating Disorders Association
Place of publication
The aim of the present study was to examine the level of body image disturbance among adolescent boys and to determine how body image disturbance was related to body change techniques. Twenty boys from year 7 (mean age = 12.55 years, SD = 0.61) and 20 boys from year 9 (mean age = 14.85 years, SD = 0.59) were interviewed individually about their body image and body change strategies. The boys were questioned about the importance and their satisfaction with their weight, body size, body shape, muscle tone and parts of their body and the frequency with which they used the following techniques: eating less to lose weight, eating more to gain weight, and exercise to change body size, shape or muscle tone. The results demonstrated that of those boys who wanted to change their body (50 per cent), 12 wanted to lose weight and eight wanted to gain weight. The most frequent strategy used to change body size or shape was exercise, rather than changing eating patterns. Year 7 boys were more satisfied with their weight than year 9 boys, and boys with a larger body mass index (BMI) were less satisfied with their muscle tone and more likely to change their eating habits to decrease their body size or shape than boys with a smaller BMI. The implications of these findings for obtaining a better understanding of how male body image and body change strategies are different from girls are discussed.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology