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ERIC Number: EJ899760
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0022-1465
Sizing up Peers: Adolescent Girls' Weight Control and Social Comparison in the School Context
Mueller, Anna S.; Pearson, Jennifer; Muller, Chandra; Frank, Kenneth; Turner, Alyn
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, v51 n1 p64-78 Mar 2010
Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and multi-level modeling, we examine the role of social comparison with schoolmates in adolescent girls' weight control. Specifically, we focus on how girls' own weight control is influenced by the body sizes and weight-control behaviors of their schoolmates. Our findings suggest that comparisons with similar others (in this case, girls of a similar body size) appear to have the strongest association with individual girls' reports of trying to lose weight. For example, the odds that an overweight girl is engaged in weight control increase substantially when many overweight girls in her school are also trying to lose weight. This study highlights how schools play an important role in shaping girls' decisions to practice weight control and demonstrates how social comparison theory improves our understanding of how health behaviors are linked to social contexts. (Contains 2 tables and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health