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Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2016 Nov-Dec;67:160-70. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2016.08.006. Epub 2016 Aug 13.

Gender differences in body-esteem among seniors: Beauty and health considerations.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland. Electronic address: malgorzata.lipowska@ug.edu.pl.
2
Department of Health Psychology, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, Gdansk, Poland.
3
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk, Gdansk, Poland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study the attitudes of seniors to their own bodies, specifically subjective body attractiveness and activities aimed at the improvement of body appearance and condition.

METHODS:

The study looked at 72 women and 81 men between 60 and 80 years of age. The participants were examined with the Body/Self Relationship Test, Body Esteem Scale and Healthy Behavior Inventory. Anthropometric measures, such as body mass index (BMI) and the index of central obesity (ICO), were also used.

RESULTS:

Older women and men did not differ in terms of subjective attitudes to their bodies. Most seniors were overweight; this problem was more often disclosed and assessed negatively by women, but was not correlated with a higher level of health-seeking behaviors. Despite being clearly overweight, no significant associations were found between objective anthropometric parameters in men, their body attitudes and health-seeking behaviors.

DISCUSSION:

The study confirmed that older women consider their body as an object that is assessed for its appearance, whereas men see it as a process, focusing on its efficient functioning.

KEYWORDS:

Body image; Elderly; Gender differences; Health-seeking behaviors; Obesity

PMID:
27544462
DOI:
10.1016/j.archger.2016.08.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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