Body Appreciation in Light of Psychological, Health- and Weight-Related Variables Among Female Adolescents
Recent research has begun to focus on positive body image and how this can be supported in adolescence. Body appreciation is a key element of positive body image, and has been associated with self-reported health status, weight-related concern, family factors and psychological variables such as self-esteem. In this study we explored these associations among Hungarian adolescent females. Female high school students from two major towns in Csongrád county, Hungary (N = 454; age range from 14 to 20; M = 16.3 years, SD = 1.2) completed questionnaires assessing body appreciation, self-esteem, optimism, life satisfaction and health- and weight-related variables. Analyses revealed that body appreciation was most strongly related to self-esteem, as well as being positively associated with life satisfaction, self-perceived health, being in control of diet, and engagement in sport. Conversely, binge drinking, engaging in slimming behaviors and having eating disorders in the family were negatively associated with body appreciation. These findings provide some indications of factors that might be targetted in health education programs aiming to promote positive body image and to develop resilience against body dissatisfaction in this demographic group. Such programs should also include information of nutrition and media literacy.