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Body Image. 2011 Mar;8(2):101-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2011.01.004. Epub 2011 Feb 25.

A prospective study on the impact of peer and parental pressure on body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls and boys.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24/25, Potsdam, Germany. srudolf@uni-potsdam.de

Abstract

The current study explores the role of appearance-related social pressure regarding changes in body image in adolescent girls (n=236) and boys (n=193) over a 1-year-period. High school students aged 11-16 completed measures of body dissatisfaction (i.e., weight and muscle concerns) and appearance-related social pressure from peers and parents. Three aspects proved to be particularly crucial: Parental encouragement to control weight and shape was a strong predictor of weight concerns in boys and girls alike; influences of friends affected gender-specific body image concerns by leading to weight concerns in girls and muscle concerns in boys; finally appearance-based exclusion was a predictor of weight concerns in boys. The findings provide longitudinal evidence for the crucial impact of appearance-related social pressure and suggest that a detailed assessment of different types of social impacts can identify concrete targets for effective prevention and therapy for weight-related problems among adolescents.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21354379
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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