Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating Attitudes in 7- To 11-year-old Girls: Testing a Sociocultural Model

Body Image. 2013 Jan;10(1):8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.10.001. Epub 2012 Nov 6.

Abstract

We examined the sociocultural model of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitude development in young girls for the first time. According to the model, internalizing an unrealistically thin ideal body increases the risk of disordered eating via body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, and depression. Girls aged 7-11 years (N=127) completed measures of thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dieting, depression, and disordered eating attitudes. Participants' height and weight were measured and their body mass index calculated. Thin-ideal internalization predicted disordered eating attitudes indirectly via body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, and depression; it also predicted disordered eating attitudes directly. Path analyses showed that a revised sociocultural model fit well with the data. These data show that a sociocultural framework for understanding disordered eating and body dissatisfaction in adults is useful, with minor modifications, in understanding the development of related attitudes in young girls.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude*
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorders / psychology*
  • Body Image*
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Eating*
  • Energy Intake
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Self Concept
  • Social Values*