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Adolescent Body Image


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MEHMS PTA Meeting Presentation Nov. 12, 2008

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Adolescent Body Image

  1. 1. Helping Adolescents Develop A Positive Body Image Presented By: Vicki Galliher, ATC, VATL, ACSM George Mason High School Sports Medicine Office
  2. 2. Body Image … Exactly what is it ?
  3. 3. I give up! Got to get PUMPED up! A girl can never be too thin ! Gonna dance till I don’t jiggle like jello! I’ve got the LOOK !
  4. 4. Students in middle school, in the midst of puberty, begin to establish an individual identity outside the family unit.
  5. 5. The increasing attention & intimacy of peers amplify physical differences that become evident as bodies change and develop. Physical appearance becomes a major factor in peer & opposite sex relations
  6. 6. Physical Development + Body Image = Development of Identity for our adolescents
  7. 7. As adults, how can we help promote the development of a positive & healthy body image?
  8. 8. We need to be aware of risk factors & protective factors
  9. 9. <ul><li>Risk Factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low self-esteem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timing of maturation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disordered eating </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Protective Factors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthy self-esteem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive feelings about physical changes in puberty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate information about puberty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthy eating & exercise </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Body dissatisfaction is the single strongest predictor of eating disorder symptomology for adolescents
  12. 12. Body image is not based on fact. It’s psychological in nature, and much more influenced by self-esteem than by actual physical attractiveness as judged by others.
  13. 13. Body image is not inborn … Body image is LEARNED
  14. 14. Body Image Questionnaire How well do you measure up ?? Let’s find out …
  15. 15. Body Image Questionnaire <ul><li>1. I am constantly thinking about my body size, shape and weight, and I’m always working to improve it. </li></ul><ul><li>2. I would be much happier and my life would be better if I were thinner or more muscular. </li></ul><ul><li>3. I commonly skip meals to lose weight. </li></ul>
  16. 16. 4. I weigh myself at least once a day. 5. I know or want to know how many calories are in the foods I eat. 6. I workout mainly to lose weight or to look better. 7. I completely exclude foods from one or more food groups to manage my weight.
  17. 17. 8 . I don’t participate in sports or other activities because I’m embarrassed about my body. 9. I like to wear oversized clothes to hide “flaws” in my appearance. 10. When I see a model in a magazine or on TV, I want to look like him or her.
  18. 18. How Did You Do?
  19. 19. If you answered “ YES” to … 3 or more questions … you may have a negative body image
  20. 20. From where does our learning of negative body image come?
  21. 21. The Big 3 Parents Peers The Media
  22. 22. The Media
  23. 27. We’ve just seen the myths, now let’s see the facts!
  24. 28. The AVERAGE American female is 5’ 4” tall and weighs 140 lbs The AVERAGE American model is 5’ 11” and weighs 117 lbs
  25. 29. The men & women on magazine covers represent about 0.03% of the population
  26. 30. <ul><li>Girls are generally more influenced by body image, with 28% to 55% wanting thinner bodies compared to 17% to 30% of boys </li></ul><ul><li>At age 10-11 years, 80% of girls are convinced they should be thinner </li></ul>
  27. 31. <ul><li>Over 33% of adolescent girls report aggressive weight control measures such as chronic dieting, excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, and abuse of laxative, diet aids, and water pills </li></ul><ul><li>17.8% of 11-14 year old girls have gone on diets in the past 6 months </li></ul>
  28. 32. The #1 wish for girls ages 11-17 is to be thinner
  29. 33. The Diet Industry is a $40 Billion per year business in the United States
  30. 34. Cosmetic Surgery is the fastest growing medical specialty in the United States
  31. 35. About 1 million American males have tried steroids at least once to improve their physique. Up to 6% have taken them by the age of 18 years
  32. 36. Parents
  33. 37. Our kids pay more more attention to us than we think!
  34. 38. “ On a diet, you can’t eat” Response of a 5 year old in a study on girls’ ideas about dieting
  35. 39. Many things parents do can trigger concerns about weight or appearance for their children
  36. 40. Having parents concerned about their own weight or appearance
  37. 41. Having parents who are overly concerned about their kids’ looks and weight
  38. 42. Having parents who are obsessive about exercise
  39. 43. Having parents who push their kids to exercise or participate on sports teams even if the kids don’t have an interest in doing so or don’t enjoy it
  40. 44. Having parents who focus on “ outer” qualities rather than “ inner” qualities
  41. 45. Peers
  42. 46. <ul><li>Being an adolescent </li></ul><ul><li>is tough … </li></ul><ul><li>Teased by peers for being too fat, too weak, too soft </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t play sports you’re a wimp or a geek </li></ul><ul><li>You have to measure up … perfection! </li></ul>
  43. 47. Where does a negative body image take us?
  44. 48. Dying to fit in … Dying to be thin …
  45. 49. Body obsession can lead to extreme dieting and exercise
  46. 50. Over one person’s lifetime at least 50,000 individuals will DIE as a result of an eating disorder
  47. 51. How do we help our kids make peace with their bodies and their body image?
  48. 52. <ul><li>Help kids better understand how their bodies change during puberty </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to what your kids say & discourage “put-downs” about their appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Reassure your children that you accept them “as is” … be careful how you suggest changes in dress, hair style, etc. </li></ul>
  49. 53. <ul><li>Encourage physical activities such as biking, walking, or roller-blading that enable kids to experience the physical strength of their bodies & the positive feeling of movement regardless of body shape or size </li></ul>
  50. 54. <ul><li>Wearing favorite clothes or getting a new haircut often allow kids to feel comfortable with themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce kids to relaxation techniques which may help them become less sensitive to events that cause negative body feelings </li></ul>
  51. 55. <ul><li>50% of girls report using magazines for ideas about weight control … work with your school’s library to ensure that appropriate & healthy guides exist for nutrition and exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Peer mentoring may be helpful to address body image & changes associated with puberty, with older students as role models. </li></ul>
  52. 56. Finally ... We can’t exchange our bodies for new ones. So the best thing is to find peace with the one you have. Your body is where you’re going to be living for the rest of your life!
  53. 57. If you would like to know more, email me at … [email_address] for a list of resources and websites
  54. 58. Thank You