ERIC Number: EJ914186
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
Social Comparison and Body Image in Adolescence: A Grounded Theory Approach
Krayer, A.; Ingledew, D. K.; Iphofen, R.
Health Education Research, v23 n5 p892-903 Oct 2008
This study explored the use of social comparison appraisals in adolescents' lives with particular reference to enhancement appraisals which can be used to counter threats to the self. Social comparison theory has been increasingly used in quantitative research to understand the processes through which societal messages about appearance influence adolescents' body image. Little is known about the comparison processes used in their daily lives--to whom individuals compare (the target), on what individuals compare (the attribute) and how they compare (comparison appraisal). Based on the analysis of 20 in-depth grounded theory interviews with 12- to 14-year old boys and girls, we suggest that comparison processes are used for the purpose of identity development (core category). Given the opportunity, adolescents spontaneously describe a variety of targets, comparison attributes and comparison appraisals. Peers play an important part in making sense of media images and messages and provide comparison targets themselves. Adolescents are aware of societal standards and pressures and use a range of enhancement appraisals. The positive impact of these might depend on individual characteristics. Findings suggest that enhancement appraisals might have a protective function and should be considered in designing health promotion and prevention programmes.
Descriptors: Grounded Theory, Individual Characteristics, Health Promotion, Self Concept, Adolescents, Statistical Analysis, Social Differences, Interpersonal Attraction, Interviews, Comparative Analysis, Peer Influence, Mass Media, Prevention, Program Design
Oxford University Press. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK. Tel: +44-1865-353907; Fax: +44-1865-353485; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://her.oxfordjournals.org/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A