Sex Roles

, Volume 53, Issue 9–10, pp 663–675 | Cite as

Body Dissatisfaction, Dating, and Importance of Thinness to Attractiveness in Adolescent Girls

  • Susan J. Paxton
  • Melinda Norris
  • Eleanor H. Wertheim
  • Sarah J. Durkin
  • Jenny Anderson


The primary aim of this study was to test a multivariate model of predictors of body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls in which psychological variables, beliefs about the importance of popularity with boys, and beliefs about the importance of thinness to attractiveness and dating were included. We also aimed to explore boys' perceptions of the importance of thinness for attractiveness. Grade 10 girls (n = 573) and boys (n = 145) completed questionnaires. Path analysis provided partial support for the model proposed. Dating did not predict body dissatisfaction, but a relationship between importance of popularity with boys and body dissatisfaction was fully mediated by the belief that boys see thinness as important in rating girls' attractiveness. Although girls underestimated the body size that is attractive to boys, over 85% of boys reported a girl's slimness influenced her attractiveness. Dating was not correlated with body mass index.

Key Words

dating thinness body dissatisfaction dieting adolescent girls and boys 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan J. Paxton
    • 1
    • 3
  • Melinda Norris
    • 2
  • Eleanor H. Wertheim
    • 1
  • Sarah J. Durkin
    • 1
  • Jenny Anderson
    • 2
  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Psychological ScienceLa Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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