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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    • "Socio-demographic correlates of depression and anxiety include age, gender, family socioeconomic status, family composition, poor parental mental health and stressful life events, such as experience of bereavement and racism (Kirwin & Hamrin, 2005; Zimmermann, 2005; Vostanis et al. 2006; Costello et al. 2011; Kessler et al. 2012; Kennedy, 2013). Elevated levels of optimism, resilience, life satisfaction, self-esteem, emotional dysregulation (anger) and body satisfaction are psychosocial factors protecting adolescents from depression and anxiety (Vickers & Vogeltanz, 2000; Creed et al. 2002; Martin & Dahlen, 2005; Davison & McCabe, 2006; Paxton et al. 2006; Hjemdal et al. 2007; Proctor et al. 2009; Hjemdal et al. 2011; Glaesmer et al. 2012; Sowislo & Orth, 2013). Additional psychosocial factors associated with depression and anxiety in youth include low levels of family cohesion, high levels of parental criticism and low level of peer and school connectedness (Repetti et al. 2002; Shochet et al. 2006; McGraw et al. 2008; Hjemdal et al. 2011; Nelemans et al. 2014). "

    Full-text · Dataset · Jan 2016
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    • "Results indicate that self-esteem, self-perception and the sense of comfort and discomfort affect the body experience unrelated to body mass index. Some researches which examined the association between BMI and self-perception found that those respondents who have a higher BMI, had lower level of self-perception (Cuddihy et al., 2006;Paxton et al., 2006). However, some of researches have shown that increased body weight is not associated with poor self-esteem and depression (Ozmen et al., 2007), but that thinness as a physical ideal, poor self-esteem and self-perception of their own bodies have significantly higher impact on dissatisfaction with appearance, then real increased physical weight (Canpolat et al., 2005). "

    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal of Morphology
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    • "Appearance evaluations may be either subjective (i.e., an individual's evaluation of their appearance), or objective (i.e., an outside rating of an individual's appearance). Traditionally, subjective appearance evaluations have been studied among heterosexual women; however, there is growing data highlighting the salience of this construct, and its association with depression, across sex and sexual orientation (e.g., Blashill, 2010; Fabian and Thompson, 1989; Jackson et al., 2014; Paxton et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: A commonly held belief about physical attractiveness is that attractive individuals are psychologically healthier than less attractive individuals (i.e., the "beauty is good" stereotype). To date, the data on this stereotype and its relationship with depression is limited, with a paucity of literature comparing subjective and objective appearance evaluations and depressive symptoms. Additionally, there is no known research on this relationship among sexual minorities (i.e., gay and bisexual individuals), a highly vulnerable population. The primary aims of the study were to assess the prediction of depression symptoms by subjective and objective appearance evaluation, and secondary aims were to assess the interaction of subjective and objective appearance with sexual orientation. Method: Participants were 4882 American emerging adults (M age=22 years; 2253 males, 2629 females) taken from a U.S. nationally representative dataset (Add Health) RESULTS: Increased negative subjective appearance evaluation was associated with elevated rates of depressive symptoms (B=-.27, p<.001), while objective appearance evaluation was not significantly related to depressive symptoms. Sexual orientation significantly moderated the relationship between subjective appearance and depression (B=.19, p=.009), with a stronger positive association between negative appearance evaluation and depressive symptoms noted among sexual minority vs. heterosexual participants. Limitations: Limitations include cross-sectional design and self-report nature of questionnaires. Conclusions: Findings suggest that the 'beauty is good' stereotype may not be valid in regard to depressive symptoms, and that subjective appearance evaluation is a robust predictor of depression, particularly for sexual minority individuals.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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