Prevalence of symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder and its correlates: a cross-cultural comparison

Psychosomatics. Nov-Dec 2002;43(6):486-90. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.43.6.486.


The authors investigated the prevalence of body image concerns, body dysmorphic disorder, and related psychiatric symptoms in a group of 101 American students. Results were compared with data from a group of 133 German students. Survey data were collected on body image concerns, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and skin picking. A total of 74.3% of the American students endorsed body image concerns, and 28.7% were preoccupied by them; 4.0% appeared to meet DSM-IV criteria for body dysmorphic disorder. Body esteem was significantly correlated with self-esteem and depressive, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Body image concerns and preoccupation were significantly greater in American than in German students, although the prevalence of probable body dysmorphic disorder was not.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Self Concept
  • Self-Injurious Behavior / psychology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States