Body Dissatisfaction Prospectively Predicts Depressive Mood and Low Self-Esteem in Adolescent Girls and Boys

La Trobe University, School of Psychological Science, Bundoora, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.
Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.92). 12/2006; 35(4):539-49. DOI: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3504_5
Source: PubMed


This research examined whether body dissatisfaction prospectively predicted depressive mood and low self-esteem in adolescent girls and boys 5 years later. Participants were early-adolescent girls (n = 440, Time 1 M age = 12.7 years) and boys (n = 366, Time 1 M age = 12.8 years) and midadolescent girls (n = 946, Time 1 M age = 15.8 years) and boys (n = 764, Time 1 M age = 15.9 years). After controlling for Time 1 of the relevant dependent variable, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and body mass index, Time 1 body dissatisfaction was a unique predictor of Time 2 depressive mood and low self-esteem in early-adolescent girls (depressive mood: F = 4.80, p < .05; self-esteem: F = 9.64, p < .01) and midadolescent boys (depressive mood: F = 12.27, p < .001; self-esteem: F = 9.38, p < .01) but not in early-adolescent boys or midadolescent girls. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that body dissatisfaction is a risk factor for depressive mood and low self-esteem in both girls and boys but in different phases of adolescence.

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    • "Conversely, greater satisfaction with one's body has been shown to be associated with more positive health behaviours, including fruit and vegetable consumption (Ba and Kiziltan 2007) and engagement with physical activity (Kruger et al. 2008). Second, negative body image has been shown to be associated with poorer psychological well-being more generally (Keery et al. 2004), particularly symptoms of depression (Paxton et al. 2006), depressive mood (Mond et al. 2011), and lower self-esteem (Wertheim et al. 2001; van den Berg et al. 2010). It has been suggested that these negative effects occur partly because body image and corporeal experiences more generally are so highly embedded in women's live (Cash et al. 2004a; Lewis and Donaghue 2005). "
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