Sex Roles

, Volume 43, Issue 7, pp 441–458

Gender Traits and Self-Concept as Indicators of Problem Eating and Body Dissatisfaction Among Children

  • Kristina Thomas
  • Lina A. Ricciardelli
  • Robert J. Williams

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007163331749

Cite this article as:
Thomas, K., Ricciardelli, L.A. & Williams, R.J. Sex Roles (2000) 43: 441. doi:10.1023/A:1007163331749


The present study was designed to examine the role of gender traits, body mass index (BMI), and self-concept in predicting levels of problem eating and body dissatisfaction among both girls and boys aged between 8 and 10 (85% were Anglo-Australian Caucasian, 15% were Caucasians from non-English backgrounds). Two hundred and two children completed questionnaires, which examined problem-eating attitudes and behaviors, body dissatisfaction, gender traits, and self-concept. Children's height and weight were measured to determine children's BMI. Gender traits predicted problem eating for boys but not for girls. Self-concept was found to predict problem eating for both boys and girls. BMI was also a predictor of problems for girls. The only predictor of body dissatisfaction for boys and girls was BMI. The findings are discussed in light of previous research, which has been conducted, on adolescents. Further studies are needed to understand more fully the development of problem eating and body dissatisfaction before the onset of puberty and adolescence.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristina Thomas
    • 1
  • Lina A. Ricciardelli
    • 2
  • Robert J. Williams
    • 3
  1. 1.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Charles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia

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