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The role of puberty, media and popularity with peers on strategies to increase weight, decrease weight and increase muscle tone among adolescent boys and girls

journal contribution
posted on 2002-03-01, 00:00 authored by M McCabe, L Ricciardelli, J Finemore
The present study was concerned with the impact of pubertal development, relationships with peers and perceived pressure from the media on body dissatisfaction and body change behaviors among adolescent boys and girls. In particular, the study investigated the underresearched area of strategies to increase weight and muscle. The exploration of body change strategies among adolescent boys has been a neglected area of research. Methods: Respondents were 1185 adolescents (527 males, 598 females) who were enrolled in Grades 7 and 9. Participants completed measures of pubertal development, media and peer influence, body dissatisfaction and strategies to lose weight, increase weight and to increase muscle. Results: The findings demonstrated that girls were more likely than boys to adopt strategies to lose weight, whereas boys were more likely to adopt strategies to increase muscle tone (but not weight). For boys in both Years 7 and 9, the main predictors of body change strategies were puberty and, to a lesser extent, perceived popularity with peers. The major influences for Years 7 and 9 girls were puberty and the media, but these mainly focused on weight loss. For Year 9 girls, perceived popularity with opposite-sex peers also predicted body dissatisfaction and strategies to increase muscle tone. Conclusion: The implications of these findings for understanding factors related to a range of body change strategies for adolescent boys and girls are discussed.

History

Journal

Journal of psychosomatic research

Volume

52

Issue

3

Pagination

145 - 153

Publisher

Elsevier Science Inc

Location

New York, N.Y.

ISSN

0022-3999

eISSN

1879-1360

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2002 Elsevier Science Inc.