Sociocultural pressures towards the thin and mesomorphic body ideals and their impact on the eating and exercise-related body change strategies of early adolescents: a longitudinal study

Álvaro Sicilia, Antonio Granero-Gallegos, Manuel Alcaraz-Ibáñez, Isabel Sánchez-Gallardo, Jesús Medina-Casaubón

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For decades, the thin body ideal has been the prevailing female standard of beauty, while the mesomorphic body ideal has been the accepted male standard of beauty in Western culture. More recently it has been found that these ideals can be adopted either by both male and female individuals. However, there is scarce research examining a dual body image pathway involving both ideals in young female and male individuals. By employing a 3-wave longitudinal questionnaire survey over 2 years and a structural equation approach, the present study examined the influence of sociocultural pressures to be thin and mesomorphic on strategies oriented toward modifying body shape and weight in a sample of early adolescent boys and girls, while also considering the mediating role of internalization of these two body ideals in such a relationship. Based on a non-randomly sample recruited from primary and secondary schools, the results of the path analysis model showed that internalization of both ideals, and their two corresponding body change strategies, were predicted by perceived sociocultural pressures towards the thin ideal (in girls) and the mesomorphic ideal (in boys). The findings from the present study suggest that the type of body ideal involved in the perceived sociocultural pressures to attain these beauty standards may play a gender-differentiated role, both in endorsing these ideals and in the strategies that early adolescent boys and girls use to achieve them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28925-28936
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Psychology
Volume42
Issue number33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Appearance
  • Body ideal
  • Dual body image pathway
  • Internalization
  • Sociocultural influence models

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