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 Bearman
  • 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.

KEY WORDS

body dissatisfaction adolescence gender differences 

REFERENCES

  1. Baker, J. D., Williamson, D. A., and Sylve, C. (1995). Body image disturbance, memory bias, and body dysphoria: Effects of negative mood induction. Behav. Ther. 26: 747–759.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barker, E. T., and Galambos, N. L. (2003). Body dissatisfaction of adolescent girls and boys: Risk and resource factors. J. Early Adolesc. 23: 141–165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Baron, R. M., and Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 51: 1173–1182.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders. International University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Berscheid, E., Walster, E., and Bohrnstedt, G. (1973). The happy American body: A survey report. Psychol. Today 7: 119–131.Google Scholar
  6. Bryk, A. S., Raudenbush, S. W., Cheong, Y. F., and Congdon, R. T. (2000). HLM 5 Hierarchical Linear and Nonlinear Modeling. Scientific Software Int., Lincolnwood, IL.Google Scholar
  7. Buss, A. H., and Plomin, R. (1984). Temperament: Early Developing Personality Traits. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  8. Byely, L., Archibald, A. B., Graber, J., and Brooks-Gunn, J. (2000). A prospective study of familial and social influences on girls’ body image and dieting. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 28: 155–164.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edn. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  10. Field, A. E., Carmargo, C. A., Taylor, C. B., Berkey, C. S., Roberts, S. B., and Colditz, G. A. (2001). Peer, parent, and media influences on the development of weight concerns and frequent dieting among preadolescent and adolescent girls and boys. Pediatrics 107: 54– 60.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Fox, K. R., Page, A., Peters, D. M., Armstrong, N., and Kirby, B. (1994). Dietary restraint and fatness in early adolescent girls and boys. J. Adolesc. 17: 149–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Furman, W. (1996). The measurement of friendship perceptions: Conceptual and methodological issues. In Bukowski, W. M., Newcomb, A. F., and Hartup, W. W. (eds.), The Company We Keep. Cambridge University, New York, pp. 41–65.Google Scholar
  13. Furman, W., and Buhrmester, D. (1985). Children's perceptions of the personal relations in their social networks. Dev. Psychol. 21: 1016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gardner, R. M., Friedman, B. N., and Jackson, N. (1999). A Body size estimations, body dissatisfaction, and ideal size preferences in children six through thirteen. J. Youth Adolesc. 28: 603–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hargreaves, D., and Tiggemann, M. (2002). The role of appearance schematicity in the development of adolescent body dissatisfaction. Cogn. Ther. Res. 26: 691–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hayward, C., Killen, J. D., Kraemer, H. C., and Taylor, C. B. (1998). Linking childhood behavioral inhibition to adolescent social phobia: A prospective study. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry 37: 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hill, J. P., and Lynch, M. E. (1983). The intensification of gender-related role expectations during early adolescence. In Brooks-Gunn, J., and Petersen, A. C. (eds)., Girls at Puberty: Biological and Psychosocial Perspectives. Plenum, New York, pp. 201–228.Google Scholar
  18. Hoffman, J. M., and Brownell, K. D. (1997). Sex differences in the relationship of body fat distribution with psychosocial variables. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 22: 139–145.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hohlstein, L. A., Smith, G. T., and Atlas, J. G. (1998). An application of expectancy theory to eating disorders: Development and validation of measures of eating and dieting expectancies. Psychol. Assess. 10: 49–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jacobi, L., and Cash, T. F. (1994). In pursuit of the perfect appearance: Discrepancies among selfdeal percepts of multiple physical attributes. J. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 24: 379–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Johnson, F., and Wardle, J. (2005). Dietary restraint, body dissatisfaction, and psychological distress: A prospective analysis. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 115: 119–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones, D. C. (2004). Body image among adolescent girls and boys: A longitudinal study. Dev. Psychol. 40: 823–835.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Keel, P. K., Fulkerson, J. A., and Leon, G. R. (1997). Disordered eating precursors in pre- and early adolescent girls and boys. J. Youth Adolesc. 26: 203–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Keel, P. K., Klump, K. L., Leon, G. R., and Fulkerson, J. A. (1998). Disordered eating in adolescent males from a school-based sample. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 23: 125–132.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Klesges, R. C., Isbell, T. R., and Klesges, L. M. (1992). Relationship between dietary restraint, energy intake, physical activity, and body weight: A prospective analysis. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 101: 668–674.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Lewinsohn, P. M., Roberts, R. E., Seeley, J. R., Rohde, P., Gotlib, I. H., and Hops, H. (1994). Adolescent psychopathology: II. Psychosocial risk factors for depression. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 103: 302–315.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Lowe, M. R., and Levine, A. S. (2005). Eating motives and the controversy over dieting: Eating less than needed versus less than wanted. Obesity Res. 13: 797–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. McCabe, M. P., and Riccciardelli, L. A. (2001). Parent, peer, and media influences on body image and strategies to both increase and decrease body size among adolescent boys and girls. Adolescence 36: 225–240.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. McCabe, M. P., and Ricciardelli, L. A. (2004). A longitudinal study of pubertal timing and extreme body change behaviors among adolescent boys and girls. Adolescence 39: 145–166.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. McCabe, M. P., Ricciardelli, L. A., and Banfield, S. (2001). Body image, strategies to change muscles and weight, and puberty: Do they impact on positive and negative affect among adolescent boys and girls? Eat. Behav. 2: 129–149.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. McCarthy, M. (1990). The thin ideal, depression, and eating disorders in women. Behav. Res. Ther. 28: 205–218.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. McCreary, D. R., and Sasse, D. K. (2000). An exploration of the drive for muscularity in adolescent boys and girls. J. Am. Coll. Health. 48: 297–304.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Muth, J. L., and Cash, T. F. (1997). Body image attitudes: What difference does gender make? J. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 27: 1438–1452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Neumark-Sztainer, D., Story, M., Falkner, N. H., Beuhring, T., and Resnick, M. D. (1999). Sociodemographic and personal characteristics of adolescents engaged in weight loss and weight/muscle gain behaviors: Who is doing what? Prev. Med. 28: 40–50.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Nichter, M., and Nichter, M. (1991). Hype and weight. Med Anthropol. 13: 249–484.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pietrobelli, A., Faith, M., Allison, D., Gallagher, D., Chiumello, G., and Heymsfield, S. (1998). Body mass index as a measure of adiposity among children and adolescents: A validation study. J. Pediatr. 132: 204–210.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Presnell, K., Bearman, S. K., and Stice, E. (2004). Risk Factors for Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescent Boys and Girls: A Prospective Study. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 36: 389–401.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Presnell, K., and Stice, E. (2003). An experimental test of the effect of weight-loss dieting on bulimic pathology: Tipping the scales in a different direction. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 112: 166–170.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Raudenbush, S. W., and Byrk, A. S. (2002). Hierarchical Linear Models: Applications and Data Analysis Methods, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.Google Scholar
  40. Ricciardelli, L. A., and McCabe, M. P. (2001). Dietary restraint and negative affect as mediators of body dissatisfaction and bulimic behavior in adolescent girls and boys. Behav. Res. Ther. 39: 1317– 1328.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Ricciardelli, L. A., and McCabe, M. P. (2003). Sociocultural influences on body image and body changes among adolescent boys and girls. J. Soc Psychol. 143: 5–26.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Richards, M. H., Boxer, A. M., Petersen, A. C., and Albrecht, R. (1990). Relation of weight to body image in pubertal girls and boys from two communities. Dev. Psychol. 26: 313–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rosenblum, G. D., and Lewis, M. (1999). The relations among body image, physical attractiveness, and body mass in adolescence. Child Dev. 70: 50–64.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Schwartz, D. J., Phares, V., Tantleff-Dunn, S., and Thompson, J. K. (1999). Body image, psychological functioning, and parental feedback regarding physical appearance. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 25: 339– 343.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Smolak, L., Levine, M., and Thompson, J. K. (2001). The use of the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire with middle school boys and girls. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 29: 216–223.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Stice, E. (2001). A prospective test of the dual pathway model of bulimic pathology: Mediating effects of dieting and negative affect. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 110: 124.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Stice, E., and Bearman, S. K. (2001). Body image and eating disturbances prospectively predict increases in depressive symptoms in adolescent girls: A growth curve analysis. Dev. Psychol. 37: 597–607.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Stice, E., Cameron, R. P., Killen, J. D., and Taylor, C. B. (1999). Naturalistic weight-reduction efforts prospectively predict growth in relative weight and onset of obesity among female adolescents. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 67: 967–974.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Stice, E., Hayward, C., Cameron, R., Killen, J. D., and Taylor, C. B. (2000). Body image and eating related factors predict onset of depression in female adolescents: A longitudinal study. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 109: 438–444.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Stice, E., Presnell, K., Shaw, H., and Rohde, P. (2005). Psychological and behavioral risk factors for obesity onset in adolescent girls: A prospective study. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 73: 195–202.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Stice, E., Presnell, K., and Spangler, D. (2002). Risk factors for binge eating onset: A prospective investigation. Health Psychol. 21: 131–138.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Stice, E., and Whitenton, K. (2002). Risk factors for body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls: A longitudinal investigation. Dev. Psychol. 38: 669–678.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Taylor, M. J., and Cooper, P. J. (1992). An experimental study of the effects of mood on body size perception. Behav. Res. Ther. 30: 53–58.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Thompson, J. K., Heinberg, L. J., Altabe, M., and Tantleff-Dunn, S. (1999). Exacting Beauty: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment of Body Image Disturbance. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  55. Tiggemann, M., and Pennington, B. (1990). The development of gender differences in body-size dissatisfaction. Aust. Psychol. 25: 306–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. van Strien, T., Fritjters, J. E. R., Bergers, G. P. A., and Dafares, P. B. (1986a). The Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ) for assessment of restrained, emotional, and external eating behavor. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 5: 295–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. van Strien, T., Frijters, J. E., van Staveren, W. A., Defares, P. B., and Deurenberg, P. (1986b). The predictive validity of the Dutch Restrained Eating Scale. Int. J. Eat. Disord. 5: 747–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wichstrom, L. (1999). The emergence of gender difference in depressed mood during adolescence: The role of intensified gender socialization. Dev. Psychol. 35: 232–245.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Kate Bearman
    • 1
    • 2
  • 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

Personalised recommendations