Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Americans’ self-esteem undermined by focus on body image

01.11.2002


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 www.hbns.org.
Interviews: Contact Antje Bohne at +011 49 251 845 934 or antjebohne@yahoo.de.
Psychosomatics: Contact Tom Wise, M.D., at (703) 698-3626.

Center for the Advancement of Health
Contact: Ira R. Allen
Director of Public Affairs
202.387.2829
press@cfah.org

Antje Bohne | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hbns.org

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Epoxy compound gets a graphene bump

14.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Microgel powder fights infection and helps wounds heal

14.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>