ERIC Number: ED176890
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Psychological Significance of Pubertal Changes to Adolescent Girls.
Petersen, Anne C.
This paper discusses the relation between feelings about body development and other aspects of self-image such as social relations, external mastery and impulse control. The Offer Self-Image Questionnaire was administered to about 400 sixth grade students in two middle class suburban school districts. Results indicate that, compared to boys of the same age, sixth grade girls were less satisfied with the changes in their bodies, were less proud of their bodies, were more likely to feel ugly and unattractive, were more likely to think that others see them as poorly developed, and felt less strong and healthy. Overall, however, both boys and girls at this age felt that positive statements about their bodies described them well or fairly well and that negative statements did not. When sixth grade girls were compared with older girls of comparable background, a trend toward more positive body image with age was found. Body image was related to affective and social questionnaire items. There seemed to be a linear relationship between satisfaction with body change and feeling that a boyfriend was important. Satisfaction with body changes was related to no other variables. For girls, but not for boys, a feeling of tension was unrelated to body image. Body image in boys appeared to be more frequently and more strongly related to other aspects of self-image than among sixth grade girls. These preliminary results suggest that sixth grade girls have a generally less positive body image than same-aged boys and older girls. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHEW), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)