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Body Image. 2012 Mar;9(2):221-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Feb 9.

Social engagement in adolescence moderates the association between weight status and body image.

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1
Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2018, USA. caccavalelj@vcu.edu

Abstract

This study examined whether the association between adolescent weight status and body image varies by social engagement. A nationally representative sample of 6909 students in grades 6-10 completed the 2006 HBSC survey. Separate linear regressions for boys and girls, controlling for age, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, were conducted with an interaction term (weight status×social engagement). Adolescents' overweight/obese status was related to body dissatisfaction. Social engagement moderated the relationship between weight status and body image for girls but not for boys. Overweight/obese boys had more body dissatisfaction compared to their normal/underweight peers, regardless of their social engagement. However, overweight/obese girls with more social engagement were more likely to have body satisfaction compared to overweight/obese girls with less social engagement. Encouraging adolescent girls to develop healthy relationships with peers may prevent them from developing body dissatisfaction.

PMID:
22325852
PMCID:
PMC3312953
DOI:
10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.01.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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