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Clinically significant body dissatisfaction: Prevalence and association with depressive symptoms in adolescent boys and girls

McLean, Siân A.; Rodgers, Rachel F.; Slater, Amy; Jarman, Hannah K.; Gordon, Chloe S.; Paxton, Susan J.

Authors

Siân A. McLean

Rachel F. Rodgers

Amy Slater Amy.Slater@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Centre for Appearance Research

Hannah K. Jarman

Chloe S. Gordon

Susan J. Paxton



Abstract

Body dissatisfaction is distressing and a risk factor for adverse consequences including eating disorders. However, data pertaining to the prevalence of body dissatisfaction in adolescence, a key period for its emergence, are lacking. This is a substantial barrier to tailored assessment and early intervention. This study addresses this gap and provides the prevalence of body dissatisfaction and associations with depressive symptoms and body change strategies. Adolescent boys (n = 367; Mage = 12.8, SD = 0.7) and girls (n = 368; Mage = 12.7, SD = 0.7) completed measures of body dissatisfaction and depressive symptoms with established cut-off levels. They also completed measures of dietary restraint and strategies to increase muscle size. Of boys and girls, 37.9% and 20.7%, respectively experienced moderate, and 6.8% and 19.6% experienced clinically significant body dissatisfaction, with higher rates among girls than boys and among adolescents aged 13 and 14 than aged 12. More than one-quarter of boys (26.70%) and one-third of girls (33.15%) reported subthreshold depressive symptoms or possible, probable or major depressive episodes. Girls revealed a higher prevalence of possible-, probable-, or major depressive episode than boys. Relative to those with no or low body dissatisfaction, adolescents with clinically significant body dissatisfaction were 24 times more likely to also report possible-, probable-, or major depressive episodes. Among boys and girls, clinically significant body dissatisfaction was associated with higher levels of dietary restraint and engagement in strategies to increase muscle size. Greater attention to identification and early intervention for body dissatisfaction is needed, especially for girls.

Citation

McLean, S. A., Rodgers, R. F., Slater, A., Jarman, H. K., Gordon, C. S., & Paxton, S. J. (in press). Clinically significant body dissatisfaction: Prevalence and association with depressive symptoms in adolescent boys and girls. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-021-01824-4

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 8, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 15, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 17, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 16, 2022
Journal European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Print ISSN 1018-8827
Electronic ISSN 1435-165X
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-021-01824-4
Keywords Body dissatisfaction · Clinically significant · Depressive symptoms · prevalence · Adolescent · Boys · Girls
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/7473858