The Peer Appearance Culture During Adolescence: Gender and Body Mass Variations

  • Diane Carlson Jones
  • Joy K. Crawford

The purpose of this research was to examine gender and body mass, as factors linked to perceived experiences within the peer appearance culture. The sample included 215 girls and 200 boys who were either in 7th grade or 10th grade. Students provided self-reports on experiences in three domains: appearance culture among friends (appearance conversations and diet/muscle talk), peer evaluations (peer appearance pressure, appearance teasing, and vicarious peer teasing), and peer acceptance concerns (appearance-based acceptance, peer appearance comparison). The results indicated that although girls reported more appearance conversations, boys perceived more appearance pressure and teasing. Boys also admitted that they talked with friends about muscle building at a rate greater than girls talked about dieting. BMI showed distinct gender patterns. BMI was a key attribute that unified the experiences within the appearance culture for overweight girls. Among the boys, BMI was associated with differentiated experiences for underweight and overweight participants.


body image adolescent girls and boys peer appearance culture gender body mass 



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Educational PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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