Embodied image: Gender differences in functional and aesthetic body image among Australian adolescents

Murdoch University, School of Psychology, South Street, Murdoch 6150, Western Australia, Australia.
Body image (Impact Factor: 2.19). 11/2009; 7(1):22-31. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.10.004
Source: PubMed


Perceptions of the body are not restricted to the way the body "looks"; they may also extend to the way the body "functions". This research explores body image among male and female adolescents using the Embodied Image Scale (EIS), which incorporates body function into body image. Adolescents (N=1526, male=673, female=853) aged 12-17 (M=13.83, SD=1.02), from 26 Western Australian high schools were surveyed. Information was gathered on pubertal timing, body mass index (BMI) and body image. Participants reported significantly higher value of, behavioral-investment in, and satisfaction with the functional dimension of the body compared to the aesthetic dimension. After controlling for age, pubertal timing, and BMI, females reported significantly higher aesthetic values and aesthetic behavioral-investment, and lower aesthetic satisfaction, functional values, functional behavioral-investment and functional satisfaction than male participants. Grade, pubertal timing and BMI category differences were also explored.

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Available from: Bree Abbott, Jun 26, 2014
    • "Nowadays, when the sociocultural environment emphasizes thinness and appearance, it is also worthy to study whether the social and appearance pressures vary considerably between adolescent girls and boys in our societies. By exploring the relationship between the factors of physical self-concept and the objective measures and attributes of the body, it could help us to promote greater body acceptance among adolescents (Abbott & Barber, 2010;Franko, Cousineau, Rodgers, & Roehrig, 2013;Golan, Hagay, & Tamir, 2014;Webb, Butler-Ajibade, & Robinson, 2014). By considering all these evidences in the research of self-concept analysis, the following hypotheses are proposed: "
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    ABSTRACT: In adolescence, the complexity of human ontogenesis embraces biological growth and maturation as well as mental, affective, and cognitive progress, and adaptation to the requirements of society. To accept our morphological constellation as part of our gender may prove a problem even to a child of average rate of maturation. The main purposes of the present study were to compare selected body shape factors of early adolescents belonging to different physical self-concept subgroups, and to identify those somatic factors that have the strongest influence on the physical self-concept. A randomly selected subsample of the 2nd Hungarian National Growth Study formed the sample of the analysis. Besides the anthropometric investigations, the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale was administered to altogether 2,140 adolescents (aged 11-14). The multinominal logistic regression was used to reveal the relationship between absolute body dimensions, relative body dimensions, nutritional status, body mass components, body shape, and physical self-concept. The better the physical self-concept, the less the fatness was found in both sexes. In early adolescents, having negative physical self-concept endomorphy was significantly larger than in their age-peers with good self-concept. The presumed fact that obesity is not popular in adolescence has been confirmed by this study. However, the underweight nutritional status was attractive in the girls. These results informed us about the considerable influence of the pubertal-not-normal nutritional status on the discrepancy between the ideal and actual self-concepts.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The Journal of Early Adolescence
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    • "Homan and Tylka (2014) further provided support for Functional Satisfaction's convergent validity via its strong positive links with body appreciation and internal body orientation among U.S. college women (functional values and investment were not assessed). Abbott and Barber (2010) further observed specific gender, age, BMI, and pubertal timing differences in the EIS functionality subscales in their adolescent sample. Girls reported lower values on all three subscales. "
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    ABSTRACT: Empirical and clinical interest in positive body image has burgeoned in recent years. This focused attention is generating various measures and methods for researchers and psychotherapists to assess an array of positive body image constructs in populations of interest. No resource to date has integrated the available measures and methods for easy accessibility and comparison. Therefore, this article reviews contemporary scales for the following positive body image constructs: body appreciation, positive rational acceptance, body image flexibility, body functionality, attunement (body responsiveness, mindful self-care), positive/self-accepting body talk, body pride, body sanctification, broad conceptualization of beauty, and self-perceived body acceptance by others. Guidelines for the qualitative assessment of positive body image and recommendations for integrating positive body image assessment within psychotherapy and applied research settings are also offered. The article concludes with articulating broad future directions for positive body image assessment, including ideas for expanding its available measures, methods, and dynamic expressions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Body image
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    • "In summary, there is an emerging need to focus on both the aesthetic and functional aspects of body image as there is increasing evidence to suggest that the body is valued not only in terms of what it looks like but also what it can do (Abbott and Barber 2010; Abbott et al. 2012). To this end, the current paper adds to the limited research around body conceptualization theory by specifically comparing females' responses to images focussing on the body as an object or the functional components of the body, in line with calls for more research around appearance / performance distinctions (e.g., Abbott and Barber 2010; Wasylkiw et al. 2009). Additionally, a number of methodological advantages over past research were incorporated. "
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