Sociocultural influences and body image in 9- to 12-year-old girls: the role of appearance schemas

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2007 Mar;36(1):76-86. doi: 10.1080/15374410709336570.


This study tested whether an individual's beliefs about the importance of appearance in their life is a mediator of sociocultural influences on body dissatisfaction in young girls. Participants were 265 girls in Grades 4 to 7 (M age = 10.71 years) from 5 private primary schools in metropolitan Adelaide, South Australia. Girls completed questionnaire measures of appearance television and magazine exposure, peer appearance conversations, autonomy, appearance schemas, and body dissatisfaction. Appearance media exposure and peer appearance conversations were negatively related to body esteem, and autonomy positively predicted body esteem. Most important, appearance schemas mediated between all sociocultural variables and body dissatisfaction.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Body Image*
  • Child
  • Culture*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Peer Group
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Self Concept
  • Social Desirability*
  • Social Environment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires