Risk factors for body dissatisfaction in adolescent girls: a longitudinal investigation

Dev Psychol. 2002 Sep;38(5):669-78. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.38.5.669.


Because few prospective studies have examined predictors of body dissatisfaction--an established risk factor for eating disorders--the authors tested whether a set of sociocultural, biological, interpersonal, and affective factors predicted increases in body dissatisfaction using longitudinal data from adolescent girls (N = 496). Elevated adiposity, perceived pressure to be thin, thin-ideal internalization, and social support deficits predicted increases in body dissatisfaction, but early menarche, weight-related teasing, and depression did not. There was evidence of 2 distinct pathways to body dissatisfaction--1 involving pressure to be thin and 1 involving adiposity. Results support the contention that certain sociocultural, biological, and interpersonal factors increase the risk for body dissatisfaction, but suggest that other accepted risk factors are not related to this outcome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Constitution
  • Body Image*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Menarche / physiology
  • Peer Group
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Risk Factors*
  • Social Support
  • Thinness