Is peer victimization related to body esteem in 10-year-old girls and boys?

Body Image. 2006 Mar;3(1):25-33. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.12.001. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


Several studies show that a history of exposure to appearance-related teasing is linked to body dissatisfaction. This study extends those findings by examining the impact of bullying, and other forms of peer victimization, on different aspects of 10-year-old girls' and boys' body esteem. Participants were 960 Swedish 10-year-olds, 515 girls and 445 boys. Principal results show that social exclusion is related to 10-year-olds' evaluations of their general appearance, to evaluations of their weight, and to beliefs about how others perceive their appearance. Furthermore, bullied girls have poorer body esteem in terms of beliefs of how others perceive their appearance than do bullied boys. Appearance teasing was associated with girls' poorer body esteem in terms of general appearance and beliefs of others views of their appearance. For boys, teasing was associated with poorer body esteem on all dimensions. Thus, this study implies that a wider range of peer victimization relates to children's negative self-perceptions than was former known.