Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Americans’ self-esteem undermined by focus on body image


American college students are much more likely to worry about the way they look and to spend time obsessing over their bodies than their German counterparts, according to a new study.

"Cross-cultural differences in the value placed on appearances and resulting sociocultural pressures are the most likely explanation," says lead author Antje Bohne of Harvard Medical School.

Despite these differences in body image, the American students were no more likely to have severe enough body dissatisfaction to meet criteria for a psychological disorder, Bohne and colleagues say.

The study included detailed questionnaires administered to 101 American college students and 133 German students. Most of the participants were women.

The study results are published in the November/December issue of the journal Psychosomatics.

Three-quarters of the American students reported being concerned with the appearance of parts of their body, compared with fewer than half of the German students. Nearly 30 percent of the American students also reported being preoccupied with this concern, compared with 15 percent of the Germans.

Four of the American students and seven of the German students appeared to suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, which is defined as excessive concern with an imagined or slight defect in appearance that leads to significant distress or functional impairment.

"Although Americans were more likely to develop body image concerns and to be preoccupied with them than their German counterparts, in many cases, these symptoms were not severe enough to cause significant distress or impairment in daily functioning," the researchers say.

They note, however, that their data suggests an association between poor body image and low self-esteem as well as symptoms of depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

"Our findings are consistent with prior findings that Americans are more likely to be concerned with their appearance and to place greater value on physical attractiveness in their judgment of others than do individuals from other cultures, such as Asians or Germans," Bohne and colleagues say.

Health Behavior News Service: (202) 387-2829 or
Interviews: Contact Antje Bohne at +011 49 251 845 934 or
Psychosomatics: Contact Tom Wise, M.D., at (703) 698-3626.

Center for the Advancement of Health
Contact: Ira R. Allen
Director of Public Affairs

Antje Bohne | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>