Article

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 691-703

First online:

The relationship between body shape satisfaction and self-esteem: An investigation of gender and class differences

  • Steven C. AbellAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Detroit Mercy
  • , Maryse H. RichardsAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Loyola University of Chicago

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Abstract

This study examined the body shape satisfaction and self-esteem of 41 male and 43 female young adults. It was predicted that males would be more satisfied with their body shape and weight than females, and that upper class females would report a stronger relationship between body shape satisfaction and self-esteem than would less affluent females. Surprisingly, males were significantly more dissatisfied than females with their weight, due to the males' desire to be heavier. Both males and females reported a positive, significant relationship between overall body image and self-esteem. Females also reported a positive, significant relationship between satisfaction with body shape and self-esteem, which as expected was significantly stronger for upper class than for lower class women.