The link between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem in adolescents

Similarities across gender, age, weight status, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status

Patricia A. Van Den Berg, Jonathan Mond, Marla Eisenberg, Diann Ackard, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    135 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Purpose: The present study examined whether the cross-sectional association between body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem varies across gender, age, body weight status, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). We also examined the association longitudinally. Methods: A school-based survey of eating, weight, and related attitudes was conducted with a diverse sample of adolescents aged 11-18 years (N = 4,746). Height and weight were measured in the schools at Time 1. Participants were resurveyed through mails 5 years later (Time, 2; N = 2,516). Results: The relationship between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem was strong and significant in both boys and girls (all p values < .0001), and did not differ significantly between genders (p = .16), or between the middle school and high school cohorts in either boys (p = .79) or girls (p = .80). Among girls, the relationship between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem was strong, but did vary across weight status, race/ethnicity, and SES (all p values = .0001-.03). The relationship was nonsignificant in underweight girls (p = .36), and weaker but still significant among black, Asian, and low SES group girls (all p values < .0001) in comparison to white and high SES group girls. Among boys, the association did not differ significantly across demographic groups (all p values = .18-.79). In longitudinal analyses, the strength of the association did not change significantly as adolescents grew older. Conclusions: Findings indicate that body dissatisfaction and self-esteem are strongly related among nearly all groups of adolescents. This suggests the importance of addressing body image concerns with adolescents of all backgrounds and ages.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)290-296
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
    Volume47
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Sep 2010

    Fingerprint

    Self Concept
    Social Class
    Weights and Measures
    Thinness
    Body Image
    Postal Service
    Eating
    Body Weight
    Demography

    Keywords

    • Adolescent
    • Body dissatisfaction
    • Body image
    • Eating disorders
    • Ethnicity
    • Race
    • Self-esteem
    • Socioeconomic status

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

    Cite this

    The link between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem in adolescents : Similarities across gender, age, weight status, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. / Van Den Berg, Patricia A.; Mond, Jonathan; Eisenberg, Marla; Ackard, Diann; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne.

    In: Journal of Adolescent Health, Vol. 47, No. 3, 09.2010, p. 290-296.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Van Den Berg, Patricia A. ; Mond, Jonathan ; Eisenberg, Marla ; Ackard, Diann ; Neumark-Sztainer, Dianne. / The link between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem in adolescents : Similarities across gender, age, weight status, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. In: Journal of Adolescent Health. 2010 ; Vol. 47, No. 3. pp. 290-296.
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