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How can we help you? A global investigation into girls’ body image experiences in sport and intervention preferences

Matheson, Emily L.; Schneider, Jekaterina; Tinoco, Aline; Silva-Breen, Hannah; LaVoi, Nicole M.; Diedrichs, Phillippa C.

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Dr Emily Matheson
Senior Research Fellow (Centre for Appearance Research)

Jekaterina Schneider

Aline Tinoco

Hannah Silva-Breen

Nicole M. LaVoi


Existing interventions that target the intersection of girls’ body image and sports participation are marginally effective, which is, in part, due to methodological limitations pertaining to intervention development (i.e., not theoretically or stakeholder informed). In this research, girls were consulted on their positive and negative body image experiences in sport and their preferences for fostering and remedying these experiences, respectively, in a new intervention. One-hundred and two girls (11–17-years; n = 91) and youth advisory board members (18–35-years; n = 15) from 13 countries participated in semi-structured focus groups and/or surveys. Template analysis of focus group and survey data resulted in 10 first-level themes and three integrative themes, which highlighted factors that both hinder and help girls’ body image while playing sport, as well as girls’ intervention preferences and cross-national considerations that will eventually impact the adaptation, localisation, and scaling of the intervention. Overall, girls favoured a girl and woman-only, multimodal intervention that upskilled them in appreciating their bodies, while challenging others’ harmful behaviours. Stakeholder insights are crucial in creating acceptable, effective, and scalable interventions. Insights from this consultation phase will inform the development of a new scalable, evidence- and stakeholder-informed intervention that aims to foster girls’ positive body image and sports enjoyment.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 17, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 29, 2023
Publication Date Sep 1, 2023
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2023
Journal Body Image
Print ISSN 1740-1445
Electronic ISSN 1873-6807
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Pages 265-279
Keywords Coaches; Co-creation; Girls Intervention; Positive body image; Sport
Public URL
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