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ERIC Number: EJ853647
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
Influences on Body Image and Disordered Eating among Secondary School Students
Thatcher, William; Rhea, Deborah
American Journal of Health Education, v34 n6 p343-350 Nov-Dec 2003
This study examined whether behavioral differences (exercise, dieting, changing eating habits, taking pills, or vomiting/taking laxatives to lose weight) exist when identifying the major influencing factors (media, family, friends, teacher/coach, and doctor/nurse) among Black and White men's and women's self-perceptions of body weight. Respondents (N = 3,957) to the 1999 South Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey were examined on six questions pertaining to body image influences and behavioral activities to manipulate body weight and/or body image. Chi-square and logistic regression analyses were used to show associations among the chosen variables. Body mass index scores for participants were generated and compared with concerns about weight. More than 40% of participants were concerned about their weight and participated in deleterious behaviors to manipulate their weight and self-perception of body. Mass media and family were the most influential factors in participant's self-perception of body. Exercise and dieting were the most prevalent ways to manipulate body weight. Significant differences were determined for each race and gender group with regard to types of activities intended to manipulate their body weight. Policy changes to media advertisements and innovative interventions should be developed that can influence adolescents to choose a healthy body size and to be comfortable with the varieties of body shapes. (Contains 4 tables.)
American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-213-7193; Fax: 703-476-9527; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Youth Risk Behavior Survey