Body image and attitudes in preadolescent children : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University

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Massey University
Research into the area of body image and satisfaction is diverse, although several areas have not been adequately studied. The main aim of the current research was to study some of these areas. Areas of assessment included male body satisfaction, satisfaction with body parts and functioning, the effect of puberty on female body satisfaction, body size perceptions and attempts to change the muscularity or size of the body. Male and female participants, aged 10 to 13 years were given the Body Image and Attitudes Questionnaire which was devised for the current study. Participants were divided into three groups for the sake of analysing results: Males, Non-menstrual females and Menstrual females. The distinction between the female groups proved invaluable as the two groups responded in vastly different ways. Post-pubertal females appeared to be the least satisfied with their body, although males and pre-pubertal females also showed some degree of dissatisfaction. A large number of children had attempted to change their body, and there was no significant difference between weight loss attempts in males and females. Several areas for future research were recognised, including Maori body satisfaction, effects of puberty on male body satisfaction and further research into male satisfaction with their body and its' functioning.
Body image, Children, Body image in children, Child psychology, Body perception, Body satisfaction