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Body image importance and body dissatisfaction among Indigenous Australian adolescents
journal contributionposted on 2004-09-01, 00:00 authored by David MellorDavid Mellor, M McCabe, L Ricciardelli, Kylie BallKylie Ball
Despite their elevated risk of health problems and a propensity to be more overweight or underweight relative to the other members of the Australian population, there has been no previous investigation of body image concerns among Indigenous Australians. In this study we investigated the level of body image importance and body image dissatisfaction among 19 rural Indigenous adolescents (7 males, 12 females) and 28 urban Indigenous adolescents (15 males and 13 females). Our hypotheses that there would be gender differences in body image importance and body image satisfaction were not generally supported. However, males placed more importance on muscle size and strength than females, and rural participants placed more importance on weight than urban participants. Comparison to existing data obtained from Caucasian adolescents suggested that Indigenous youth may be less concerned and dissatisfied with body weight and shape. These results are discussed in relation to findings from studies of non-Indigenous adolescents, and Indigenous health issues. The limitations of the current study and the need for further studies are also discussed.