Advertisement

Body dissatisfaction among pre-adolescent girls is predicted by their involvement in aesthetic sports and by personal characteristics of their mothers

  • C. LombardoEmail author
  • G. Battagliese
  • F. Lucidi
  • R. O. Frost
Original Research Paper

Abstract

Empirical evidence indicates that the dissatisfaction with one’s body is widely present in the general population even at very early ages, and that it is predictive of future eating disorders. The family seem particularly influent for the development of body dissatisfaction while sports practice is associated to a higher prevalence of disordered eating. However the role of sports practice in the development of body dissatisfaction is still under debate and only few studies have evaluated together the influences of family and sport practice on body dissatisfaction. The present study aimed at evaluating both the singular and conjoint role of the type of sport and maternal influences in young female children. The sport influence was assessed comparing aesthetic and non-aesthetic disciplines; the mother’s influence was evaluated considering her personal characteristics and her desire to have a thinner child. Results evidence that children involved in aesthetic sports, although thinner than those involved in non-aesthetic sports, report higher desire to be much thinner and have mothers who pressure them toward a greater thinness. Furthermore, children’s body dissatisfaction in the sport groups is predicted by maternal characteristic like her habit to restrict her own eating and her perfectionism.

Key words

Body dissatisfaction children aesthetic sports perfectionism maternal characteristics 

References

  1. 1.
    Sarwer DB, Thompson JK, Cash TF. Body image and obesity in adulthood. Psychiat Clin North Am 2005; 28: 69–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ricciardelli LA, McCabe MP. A biopsychosocial model of disordered eating and the pursuit of muscularity in adolescent boys. Psychol Bull 2004; 130: 179–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Flannery-Schroeder EC, Chrisler JC. Body esteem, eating attitudes, and gender-role orientation in three age groups of children. Curr Psychol 1996; 15: 235–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Davison KK, Markey CN, Birch LL. A longitudinal examination of patterns in girls’ weight concerns and body dissatisfaction from ages 5 to 9 years. Int J Eat Disord 2003; 33: 320–32.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ricciardelli LA, McCabe MP. Children’s body image concerns and eating disturbance: a review of the literature. Clin Psychol Rev 2001; 21: 325–44.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Vetrone P, Cuzzolaro M. La spinta a dimagrire in un gruppo di studentesse provenienti da famiglie di classi sociali medio-basse. Psichiatria dell’Infanzia e dell’Adolescenza 1996; 63: 665–76.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Clark L, Tiggemann M. Sociocultural and individual psychological predictors of body image in young girls: a prospective study. J Clin Child Adol Psychol 2007; 36: 76–86.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Stice E, Hayward C, Cameron RP, et al. Body-image and eating disturbances predict onset of depression among female adolescents: a longitudinal study. J Abnorm Psychol 2000; 109: 438–44.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    McKnight Investigators. Risk factors for the onset of eating disorders in adolescent girls: results of the McKnight longitudinal risk factor study. Am J Psychiatry 2003; 160: 248–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Neumark-Sztainer DR, Wall MM, Haines JI, et al. Shared risk and protective factors for overweight and disordered eating in adolescents. Am J Prev Med 2007; 33: 359–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Stice E, Nemeroff C, Shaw HE. Test of the dual pathway model of bulimia nervosa: evidence for dietary restraint and affect regulation mechanisms. J Soc Clin Psychol 1996; 15: 340–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tylka TL, Subich LM. Examining a multidimensional model of eating disorder symptomatology among college women. J Couns Psychol 2004; 51: 314–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fulkerson JA, Neumark-Sztainer D, Story M. Adolescent and parent views of family meals. J Am Diet Assoc 2006; 106: 526–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Francis LA, Birch LL. Maternal influences on daughters’ restrained eating behavior. Health Psychol 2005; 24: 548–54.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jaffe K, Worobey J. Mothers’ attitudes toward fat, weight, and dieting in themselves and their children. Body Image 2006; 3: 113–20..PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mellin AE, Neumark-Sztainer D, Story M, et al. Unhealthy behaviors and psychosocial difficulties among overweight adolescents: The potential impact of familial factors. J Adolesc Health 2002; 31: 145–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rieves L, Cash TF. Social developmental factors and women’s body-image attitudes. J Soc Behav Pers 1996; 11: 63–78.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Smolak L, Levine MP, Schermer F. Parental input and weight concerns among elementary school children. Int J Eat Disord 1999; 25: 263–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Levinson R, Powell B, Stellman LC. Social location, significant others and body image among adolescents. Soc Psychol Q 1986; 49: 330–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pike KM, Rodin J. Mothers, daughters, and disordered eating. J Abnorm Psychol 1991; 100: 198–204.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Birch LL, Fisher JO, Grimm-Thomas K, et al. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Child Feeding Questionnaire: a measure of parental attitudes, beliefs and practices about child feeding and obesity proneness. Appetite 2001; 36: 201–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Davison KK, Birch LL. Predictors of fat stereotypes among 9-year-old girls and their parents. Obes Res 2004; 12: 86–94.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Paxton SJ, Schutz HK, Wertheim EH, et al. Friendship clique and peer influences on body image concerns, dietary restraint, extreme weight-loss behaviors, and binge eating in adolescent girls. J Abnorm Psychol 1999; 108: 255–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Powers PS, Johnson C. Small victories: Prevention of eating disorders among athletes. Eat Disord 1996; 4: 364–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Torstveit MK, Rosenvinge JH, Sundgot-Borgen J. Prevalence of eating disorders and the predictive power of risk models in female elite athletes: A controlled study. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2008; 18: 108–18.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Slater A, Tiggemann M. Gender differences in adolescent sport participation, teasing, self-objectification and body image concerns. J Adolesc 2011; 34: 455–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Engel SG, Johnson C, Powers PS, et al. Predictors of disordered eating in a sample of elite Division I college athletes. Eat Behav 2003; 4: 333–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Garner DM, Garfinkel PE. Socio-cultural factors in the development of anorexia nervosa. Psychol Med 1980; 10: 647–56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Smolak L, Murnen SK, Ruble AE. Female athletes and eating problems: a meta-analysis. Int J Eat Disord 2000; 27: 371–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Anshel MH. Sources of disordered eating patterns between ballet dancers and non-dancers. J Sport Behav 2004; 27: 115–33.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    De Bruin AP, Oudejans RRD, Bakker FC. Dieting and body image in aesthetic sports: a comparison of Dutch female gymnasts and non-aesthetic sport participants. Psychol Sport Exercise 2007; 8: 507–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hausenblas, H.A., Downs, D.S.: Comparison of body image between athletes and nonathletes: A meta-analytic review. J Appl Sport Psychol, 13, 323–339, 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hausenblas H., Fallon EA. Exercise and body image: A meta-analysis. Psychol Health 2006; 21: 33–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Hewitt PL, Turnbull-Donovan W, Flett GL, et al. The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale: reliability, validity, and psychometric properties in psychiatric samples. Psychol Assess 1991; 3: 464–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Frost RO, Marten P, Lahart C, et al. The dimensions of perfectionism. Cognit Ther Res 1990; 14: 449–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    DiBartolo PM, Li CY, Frost RO. How do the dimensions of perfectionism relate to mental health? Cognit Ther Res 2008; 32: 401–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Slade PD, Owens RG. A dual process model of perfectionism based on reinforcement theory. Behav Modif 1998; 22: 372–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Lilenfeld LR, Stein D, Bulik CM, et al. Personality traits among currently eating disordered, recovered and never ill first-degree female relatives of bulimic and control women. Psychol Med 2000; 30: 1399–410.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Bulik CM, Tozzi F, Anderson C, et al. The relation between eating disorders and components of perfectionism. Am J Psychiatry 2003; 160: 363–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Lilenfeld LR, Wonderlich S, Riso LP, et al. Eating disorders and personality: A methodological and empirical review. Clin Psychol Rev 2006; 26: 299–320.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Jacobi C, Paul T, de Zwaan M, et al. Specificity of selfconcept disturbances in eating disorders. Int J Eat Disord 2004; 35: 204–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Stice E. Risk and maintenance factors for eating pathology: a meta-analytic review. Psychol Bull 2002; 128: 825–48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Bardone-Cone AM, Wonderlich SA, Frost RO, et al. Perfectionism and eating disorders: current status and future directions. Clin Psychol Rev 20007; 27: 384–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Woodside DB, Bulik CM, Halmi KA, et al. Personality, perfectionism, and attitudes towards eating in parents of individuals with eating disorders. Int J Eat Disord 2002; 31: 290–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Koivula N, Hassmén P, Fallby J. Self-esteem and perfectionism in elite athletes: Effects on competitive anxiety and self-confidence. Pers Individ Dif 2002; 32: 865–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Dunn JGH, Gotwals JK, Dunn JC. An examination of the domain specificity of perfectionism among intercollegiate student-athletes. Pers Individ Dif 2005; 38: 1439–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 45.
    Gotwals JK, Dunn JGH, Wayment HA. An examination of perfectionism and self-esteem in intercollegiate athletes. J Sport Behav 2003; 26: 17–38.Google Scholar
  48. 47.
    Gould D, Udry E, Tuffey S, et al. Burnout in competitive junior tennis players: I. A quantitative psychological assessment. Sport Psychologist 1996; 10: 322–40.Google Scholar
  49. 48.
    Hill AP, Hall HK, Appleton PR, et al. Perfectionism and burnout in junior elite soccer players: the mediating influence of unconditional self-acceptance. Psychol Sport Exerc 2008; 9: 630–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 49.
    Gould D, Dieffenbach K, Moffett A. Psychological characteristics and their development in Olympic champions. J Appl Sport Psychol 2002; 14: 172–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 50.
    Stoll O, Lau A, Stoeber J. Perfectionism and performance in a new basketball training task: does striving for perfection enhance or undermine performance? Psychol Sport Exerc 2008; 9: 620–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 51.
    Forsberg S, Lock J. The relationship between perfectionism, eating disorders and athletes: a review. Minerva Pediatr 2006; 58: 525–36.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 52.
    Flett GL, Hewitt PL. The perils of perfectionism in children sport and exercise. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 205; 14: 14–8.Google Scholar
  54. 53.
    Haase AM, Prapavessis H, Owens RG. Perfectionism, social physic anxiety and disordered eating: a comparison of male and female elite athletes. Psychol Sport Exerc 2002; 3: 209–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. 54.
    Cassin SE, von Ranson KM. Personality and eating disorders: a decade in review. Clin Psychol Rev 2005; 25: 895–916.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. 55.
    Fairburn CG, Harrison PJ. Seminar: eating disorders. Lancet 2003; 361: 407–16.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Lowes J, Tiggemann M. Body dissatisfaction, dieting awareness and the impact of parental influence in young children. Br J Health Psychol 2003; 8: 135–47.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Tiggemann M, Pennington B. The development of gender differences in body-size dissatisfaction. Austral Psychologist 1990; 25: 306–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Thompson MA, Gray JJ. Development and validation of a new body-image assessment Scale. J Pers Assess 1995; 64: 258–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Lombardo C, Russo PM, Lucidi F, et al. Internal consistency, convergent validity and reliability of a brief Questionnaire on Disordered Eating (DEQ). Eat Weight Disord 2004; 9: 91–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    Lombardo C. Adattamento italiano della Scala di Perfezionismo Multidimensionale (MPS) di Frost e collaboratori. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale 2008; 14.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Cacciari E, Milani S, Balsamo A, et al. Italian cross-sectional growth charts for height, weight and BMI (2 to 20 yr). J Endocr Invest 2006; 29: 581–93.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Fogelholm M, Hiilloskorpi H. Weight and diet concerns in Finnish female and male athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999; 31: 229–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Homan K. Athletic-ideal and thin-ideal internalization as prospective predictors of body dissatisfaction, dieting, and compulsive exercise. Body Image 2010; 7: 240–65.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Fulkerson JA, Strauss J, Neumark-Sztainer D, et al. Correlates of psychosocial well-being among overweight adolescents: The role of the family. J Consult Clin Psychol 2007; 75: 181–6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Flett GL, Hewitt PL, Oliver JM, et al. Perfectionism in children and their parents: a developmental analysis. In: Flett GL, Hewitt PL (Eds) Perfectionism: theory, research, and treatment. Washington, DC, APA, 2002, pp 89–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Appleton PR, Hall HK, Hill AP. Family patterns of perfectionism: an examination of elite junior athletes and their parents. Psychol Sport Exerc 2010; 11: 363–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Frost RO, Lahart C, Rosenblate R. The development of perfectionism: A study of daughters and their parents. Cognit Ther Res 1991; 15: 469–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Chang EC. Perfectionism as a predictor of positive and negative psychological outcomes: Examining a mediational model in younger and older adults. J Couns Psychol 2000; 47: 18–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Vieth AZ, Trull TJ. Family patterns of perfectionism: an examination of college students and their parents. J Pers Assess 1999; 72: 49–67.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Soenens B, Elliot AJ, Goossens L, et al. The intergenerational transmission of perfectionism: parents’ psychological control as an intervening variable. J Fam Psychol 2005; 19: 358–66.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Cook LC, Kearney CA. Parent and youth perfectionism and internalizing psychopathology. Pers Individ Dif 2009; 46: 325–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Marsh HW, Barnes J, Cairns L, et al. Self-Description Questionnaire: age and sex effects in the structure and level of self-concept for preadolescent children. J Educ Psychol 1984; 76: 940–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. 74.
    Shroff H, Thompson JK. The tripartite influence model of body image and eating disturbance: a replication with adolescent girls. Body Image 2006; 3: 17–23.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Lombardo
    • 1
    Email author
  • G. Battagliese
    • 1
  • F. Lucidi
    • 1
  • R. O. Frost
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySmith CollegeNorthamptonUK

Personalised recommendations