Researchers have highlighted the significance of a poor body image in the development of dysfunctional eating but have systematically investigated few other outcomes. The authors examined the relationships between different aspects of body image and psychosocial functioning. Participants were 245 boys and 173 girls from Grades 8 and 9 (M age = 13.92 years, SD = 0.69 years). Respondents completed measures of physical attractiveness, body satisfaction, body image importance, body image behaviors, appearance comparison, social physique anxiety, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and same-sex and opposite-sex relations. Whereas girls tended to report a more negative body image than did boys, the relevance of body image to self-esteem was similar for boys and girls. Concern about others' evaluation of their bodies was especially important in understanding low female self-esteem, whereas for boys, ratings of general attractiveness most strongly predicted self-esteem. The authors found a negative body image to be unrelated to symptoms of negative affect but to be strongly associated with poor opposite-sex peer relationships, especially among boys. A negative body image also affected same-sex relations among girls.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
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