What Friends are for: The Relationships Between Body Image, Substance Use, and Peer Influence Among Finnish Adolescents
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The study investigated the relationships between substance use, body image, and peer influence among Finnish adolescents. The participants (N=488, 240 boys and 248 girls), were eighth-grade high school students. The data were gathered using a questionnaire. In addition to background information, the study covered risk behaviors frequency, body satisfaction, and peer relationships. The results indicated that the levels of body satisfaction among the adolescent girls studied were lower than those among the adolescent boys. It was found that the girls engaged in more discussion with peers than the boys concerning both intimate and general matters. Moreover, having an intimate relationship with one's peers was associated with a greater tendency to drink purely in order to get drunk. However, a slightly more distant relationship with friends was associated with a greater risk for smoking. In general, dissatisfaction with one's physical appearance seemed to relate to substance use. By highlighting the relationships between adolescents’ body image, substance use, and peer influence the study gives pointers for further research, and may be suggestive in terms of the kinds of social policies that ought to be pursued in the future.
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About this Article
- What Friends are for: The Relationships Between Body Image, Substance Use, and Peer Influence Among Finnish Adolescents
Journal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume 35, Issue 2 , pp 192-206
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- Springer US
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- alcohol use
- body image
- peer influence
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Education, Faculty of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, (Siltavuorenpenger 20R), 00014, Helsinki, Finland
- 2. Research interests include public health issues, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland