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01-11-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2007

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 8/2007

The Effects of Gender and Family, Friend, and Media Influences on Eating Behaviors and Body Image During Adolescence

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 8/2007
Auteurs:
Rheanna N. Ata, Alison Bryant Ludden, Megan M. Lally
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Rheanna N. Ata is currently a research assistant at the Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, Miriam Hospital/Brown University. She is interested in body image and eating disorders and completed this research during her undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross.
Alison Bryant Ludden is a developmental psychologist whose research focuses on social relationships and problem behaviors during adolescence, with a special interest in school as a developmental context. She is an assistant professor of psychology at the College of the Holy Cross.
Megan M. Lally is currently a graduate student in psychology at Pepperdine University. She completed this research during her undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross.

Abstract

The current study expands upon body image research to examine how gender, self-esteem, social support, teasing, and family, friend, and media pressures relate to body image and eating-related attitudes and behaviors among male and female adolescents (N = 177). Results indicated that adolescents were dissatisfied with their current bodies: males were concerned with increasing their upper body, whereas females wanted to decrease the overall size of their body. Low self-esteem and social support, weight-related teasing, and greater pressures to lose weight were associated with adolescents’ negative body esteem, body image, and eating attitudes. Females displayed more high risk eating behaviors—which were associated with more psychosocial risk factors—than males, whose high risk attitudes and behaviors were only associated with low parental support and greater pressure to be muscular. Reducing adolescents’ perceptions of appearance-related pressure from family and friends may be key for enhancing body image and decreasing links between low self-esteem and negative eating behaviors and weight-related perceptions.

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