Factors Influencing Body Image During Adolescence

  • Rheanna N. Ata
  • Ariz Rojas
  • Alison Bryant Ludden
  • J. Kevin Thompson


Recent research has implicated a number of developmental (e.g., pubertal timing), psychological (e.g., self-esteem), and sociocultural (e.g., culturally defined and transmitted messages regarding attractiveness) factors in the development and maintenance of body image disturbance and related issues in adolescents. This chapter focuses exclusively on sociocultural theories of body image and disordered eating, which posit that culturally determined ideals, expectations, and experiences exert influence on the development of body image and body image disturbance. According to the Tripartite Influence Model of body image and eating disturbance – around which this chapter is organized – mass media, parents, and peers are especially formative influences, that may exert both direct (e.g., via negative feedback or comments) and indirect (i.e., via appearance comparison and internalization) effects on body dissatisfaction. Images of attractiveness and messages regarding the importance of appearance transmitted by the media become particularly problematic when they are reinforced by the behaviors and comments of important socialization agents in adolescents’ lives – parents and peers. Other factors, such as race, ethnicity, and level of acculturation, may also impact body image during adolescence. The influence of the media, peers, parents, and culture, as well as the connection between body image disturbance and other areas of health will be discussed herein.


Body Image Adolescent Girl Binge Eating Body Dissatisfaction Acculturative Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Body mass index


Structural equation modeling


Socioeconomic status



A special thanks to those whose work has contributed to increasing understanding and developing/improving treatment of body image concerns and eating pathology in adolescents.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rheanna N. Ata
    • 1
  • Ariz Rojas
  • Alison Bryant Ludden
  • J. Kevin Thompson
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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