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Actual/ideal body images of high school girls and how it affects their self-esteem : implications for educational and clinical institutions

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conference contribution
posted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by M Ha, H Marsh, Christine HalseChristine Halse
Given that adolescence is a critical period for the development of a positive self-concept and body image, it is imperative that educators have an understanding of adolescent students' body image and their dieting practises and behaviours. Negative body image is an issue that is rife within the adolescent student population in Australia and around the world, and is a factor that is commonly associated with and linked to disturbed eating behaviours and chronic eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Despite the intuitive appeal and importance of investigating adolescents' body image in terms of what adolescents would like to look like and what they think that they look like now, very little research has investigated these concepts. Furthermore, very little research has explored whether there is a difference between these two constructs how this may affect adolescents' self-esteem. This study therefore aimed to explore the actual and ideal body images of adolescent high school girls aged between 12 and 18 years in two samples of adolescents, one with eating disorders (n=76, clinical sample) and one without (n=823 high school sample). Additionally, this study investigates these constructs in relation to self-esteem levels. The results of this study have important implications for educators and clinicians within educational and clinical settings.



Australian Association for Research in Education. Conference (2005: Sydney, N.S.W.)


1 - 16


Australian Association for Research in Education


Sydney, N.S.W.

Place of publication

Coldstream, Vic

Start date


End date







Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2005, AARE


P Jeffrey

Title of proceedings

AARE 2005 : Creative dissent: constructive solutions : Proceedings of the 2005 Australian Association for Research in Education conference

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