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Body Image. 2010 Mar;7(2):97-105. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.12.001. Epub 2010 Jan 20.

Peer harassment and satisfaction with appearance in children with and without a facial difference.

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  • 1Bredtvet Resource Center, 0950 Oslo, Norway.


This study investigated associations between perceived peer harassment and satisfaction with appearance in the presence or absence of a facial difference. A cross-sectional sample of 661 children aged 10 or 16, with a cleft lip and/or palate, completed measures of satisfaction with appearance and peer harassment. Results indicated that the presence of a visible versus a nonvisible cleft was not associated with appearance dissatisfaction or higher levels of peer harassment for children aged 10 or for adolescent boys. Peer harassment was related to dissatisfaction with appearance in both age groups. In the adolescent group, there was an interaction between cleft visibility and gender, girls with a visible cleft being least satisfied with appearance. However, the association between cleft visibility and satisfaction with appearance was fully mediated by experiences of peer harassment. The results highlight the need to further explore the role of social interactions for subjective perceptions of appearance.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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