Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 217–229 | Cite as

The Skinny on Body Dissatisfaction: A Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Girls and Boys

  • Sarah Kate BearmanEmail author
  • Katherine Presnell
  • Erin Martinez
  • Eric Stice
Original Article

The present study tested whether theoretically derived risk factors predicted increases in body dissatisfaction and whether gender moderated these relations with data from a longitudinal study of 428 adolescent girls and boys because few prospective studies have examined these aims, despite evidence that body dissatisfaction increases risk for various psychiatric disturbances. Body dissatisfaction showed significant increases for girls and significant decreases for boys during early adolescence. For both genders, parental support deficits, negative affectivity, and self-reported dietary restraint showed significant relations to future increases in body dissatisfaction. Ideal body internalization and body mass index did not demonstrate significant relations to future increases in body dissatisfaction; peer support deficits showed a marginal relation to this outcome. Gender did not moderate these relations, despite adequate power to detect interactive effects.


body dissatisfaction adolescence gender differences 



This study was supported by a career award (MH01708) and an individual research service award (MH12834) from the National Institutes of Mental Health. Thanks go to project research assistants, Melissa Fisher, Katy Whitenton, and Natalie McKee, as well as to the many undergraduate volunteers who assisted with this project. Our gratitude also goes to the Austin Independent School District and the participants who made this study possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Kate Bearman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Katherine Presnell
    • 3
  • Erin Martinez
    • 4
  • Eric Stice
    • 4
  1. 1.University of TexasAustinUSA
  2. 2.Judge Baker Children's CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Southern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  4. 4.University of TexasAustinUSA

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