The aim of this 5-year longitudinal study of 593 girls (9-20-year-old) was to examine whether the internalization of the thinness ideal in terms of 'a wish to be thinner' might be related to lifestyle factors and longitudinally increase the risk of disturbed eating over time. Results showed that a wish to be thinner was related to lifestyle factors, eating attitudes and body mass index (BMI) longitudinally. Girls who wished to be thinner dieted more often, thought that they would be more popular if they were thinner, skipped meals, were eating breakfast more often alone and had a higher BMI compared to the girls without such a wish. Girls who wished to be thinner were 4 times more likely to develop disturbed eating attitudes over a 5-year period. These findings point to the importance of helping adolescents to establish regular eating habits, to avoid unhealthy dieting practices and to prevent sedentary behaviours that might lead to overweight and or obesity in early childhood.
This study examined adolescents' attitudes of cosmetic surgery, as well as the relationships between these attitudes, body appreciation, body ideal internalization, and fashion blog reading. The sample comprised 110 (60 boys, 50 girls) late adolescents (mean age 16.9 years) from a Swedish high school. The results indicated that younger adolescents seem somewhat more accepting of cosmetic surgery. This was especially the case for boys' acceptance of social motives for obtaining cosmetic surgery (boys' M=2.3±1.55 vs. girls' M=1.7±0.89). Girls', and to a limited extent boys', internalization of the thin ideal was related to more favorable cosmetic surgery attitudes. Athletic ideal internalization and body appreciation were unrelated to these attitudes. Finally, girls who frequently read fashion blogs reported higher thin ideal internalization, and also demonstrated a slight tendency of more cosmetic surgery consideration.
Significant health problems encountered in adulthood often have their roots in health behaviours initiated during adolescence. In order to reverse this trend, school and health personnel, as well as parents and other community members working with high school students, need to be aware of the health-related beliefs and choices that guide the behaviours of teenagers. Although a wide variety of research has been conducted on this topic among urban adolescents, less is known about the health beliefs and behaviors of adolescents residing in rural areas, particularly in Canada. In general, rural Canadians are less healthy than their urban counterparts. Building on the knowledge and understanding of their own community, key stakeholders were invited to engage in the design and implementation of a participatory action research project aimed at understanding and improving the health of rural adolescents.
A group of parents, teachers, students, school administrators and public health nurses engaged in a participatory action research project to better understand determinants of the health of rural adolescents at a high school in Western Canada. Group members developed and administered a health survey to 288 students from a small rural high school, in an effort to identify areas of concern and interest regarding health practices and beliefs of rural adolescents, and to take action on these identified concerns.
Results indicated some interesting but potentially worrying trends in this population. For example, while frequent involvement in a physical activity was noted by 75.9% of participants, close to half of the females (48%) described their body image as 'a little overweight' or 'definitely overweight', and approximately 25.8% of respondents noted that they skipped meals most of the time. Differences between the genders were apparent in several categories. For example, more girls smoked (16.2%) than boys (12.3%), and more males (55.0%) than females (41%) had tried illegal drugs. Participants indicated awareness of other health-compromising behaviours, including unsafe driving habits and high stress levels, and acknowledged several steps they wanted to take to improve their health, as well as the barriers to taking those steps. Students identified improved nutrition, stress reduction, and increased levels of physical activity as particular important health goals. Students also recommended ways in which information and support could be provided within the school environment to enable them to achieve their health-related goals. Several activities developed in collaboration with students have incorporated the recommendations, and have spawned other activities in response to the ongoing identification of new concerns.
The process of including the rural community in the identification of health assets and needs from the perspective of students -- as well as the planning and implementation of appropriate strategies to address those needs -- demonstrates the strengths inherent within a small rural population. Community members' awareness of the need to create a healthy environment for youth is reflected in their willingness to participate in activities leading to improved health. Greater awareness of the health needs of rural adolescents, and of the influence of gender in some aspects of health behaviors, will help researchers to explore ways in which the unique culture of rural communities can be harnessed to help shape health-focused interventions.
We examined adolescents' reasons for tanning and how these relate to appearance evaluation and orientation. Two hundred and sixty-four Canadian adolescents (age range 15-19 years) in grades 10, 11, and 12 completed a survey that included scales measuring their reasons for tanning, appearance evaluation, and appearance orientation. It was found that girls and boys differed on four of nine subscales measuring reasons for tanning. Girls believed more strongly than boys that tanning improved their general appearance and that friends influenced their decision to tan. Girls also expressed less concern than boys that tanning caused immediate skin damage or premature aging. The pattern of correlations between the reasons for tanning and appearance orientation was similar for girls and boys. For both, appearance reasons for tanning and sociocultural influences on tanning were positively associated with appearance orientation. Suggestions for future research with adolescents and a proposal for a guiding model are provided.
This study investigated the role of friendships and social acceptance in self-perceptions of appearance and depressive symptoms, comparing adolescents with and without a facial difference. Adolescents with a visible cleft (n=196) were compared with adolescents with a non-visible cleft (n=93), and with a comparison group (n=1832). Boys with a visible difference reported significantly more positive perceptions of friendships and less depressive symptoms than the comparison group. These results were interpreted in the context of indicators of emotional resilience. The objective measure of facial difference did not explain levels of depressive symptoms, while subjective measures did. Subjective ratings of appearance mediated the association between social acceptance and depressive symptoms in all samples. Gender did not contribute in explaining the paths between friendships, appearance, and depressive symptoms. The associations between perceptions of social acceptance, appearance, and emotional distress, support the possible utility of strengthening social experiences in preventing and treating appearance-concerns.
This paper is a report of a study to investigate the stability of self-reported eating disorder symptoms, factors associated with them and the predictors of their recurrence.
In western cultures, eating-related problems during adolescence are common but usually temporary. However, in approximately 10% of cases disordered eating is sustained, increasing the risk of a full-blown eating disorder. To distinguish adolescents with temporary eating problems from those whose problems are likely to continue, healthcare providers need to understand the progress of disordered eating and the features of high-risk adolescents.
The two-stage prospective survey was conducted with a school-based sample of adolescents aged 15-17 years. At baseline, in 2003-2004, the SCOFF ('Sick', 'Control', 'One', 'Fat' and 'Food') questionnaire was administered to students in the 9th year of schooling in Finland. Follow-up assessment took place 1 year later, and 372 students provided data at both assessments. Binary logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate which factors predict the recurrence of eating disorder symptoms, defined as the occurrence of eating disorder symptoms at both assessments.
Five per cent of the students reported eating disorder symptoms at both assessments. Typically, they had multiple psychological problems and health complaints. Anxiety perceived earlier in adolescence resulted in an estimated odds ratio of the logistic model of 20 for the recurrence of eating disorder symptoms.
Earlier anxiety rather than dissatisfaction with appearance had a statistically significant effect on the progress of eating problems. Longitudinal research is needed to confirm the results. Until further knowledge is available, nurses should follow-up all adolescents with disordered eating to identify a possible need for intervention.
BACKGROUND: Over the last decade adolescent males have been shown to use anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) in order to improve their sports performance and appearance, as well as in combination with alcohol and psychotropic drugs. However, the risk profile of AAS use is still not well understood. This study analysed the importance of social, personality and health factors for the use of AAS. METHODS: More than 2,700 senior high school students in Uppsala, Sweden, filled out an anonymous closed-response questionnaire. RESULTS: The findings from multiple logistic regression analyses of adolescent males (n = 1,353) showed that immigrant status, average/low self-esteem, average/low perceived school achievement and use of prescription tranquillisers/sedatives had independent significant associations with the use of AAS after controlling for age and previously known factors such as strength training, truancy and heavy alcohol consumption. CONCLUSION: The characteristics of AAS users extend beyond activities such as strength training and multiple drug use to include social, personality and health aspects.
OBJECTIVE. Body image and perceived attractiveness were examined, and the impact of age, gender, and body mass index (BMI) was analyzed and discussed from an evolutionary and a sociocultural perspective. METHOD. The population-based sample consisted of 11,468 Finnish men and women aged 18 to 49 years. RESULTS. Both age-related decrease and increase in body satisfaction was detected as well as interactions between age and gender. Some effects were nonlinear. Women were generally less satisfied with their bodies than men. BMI had a stronger influence on women's body image than men's. DISCUSSION. It was proposed that it is insufficient to merely study how age affects general body image because adults might become more satisfied with some aspects of their bodies as a function of age and less satisfied with other aspects. Body satisfaction might also fluctuate during different phases of the adult life, and the patterns possibly differ between men and women.
Oral and Maxillofacial Unit, Section of Dentofacial Orthopedics, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Biomedicine and Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköpings universitet, SE-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.
The purpose of the present thesis was to investigate the quality of life, satisfaction with treatment, prevalence of temporomandibular disorders, psychosocial distress, and occlusal stability in a treated group of adults with complete cleft lip and palate (CLP). Sixty-eight adults (44 men and 24 women) with a mean age of 24.2 years (range 19.5-29.2) with treated CLP were compared with a gender- and age-matched group with no clefts. The CLP subjects were born between 1968 and 1977 and had undergone standardised plastic surgery at the Department of Plastic Surgery, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden. Logopaedic, phoniatric, otological, and orthodontic examinations and treatment had been provided locally, supervised by the Cleft Plate Team. The subjects answered a multidimensional, self-report, standardised questionnaire regarding psychological and somatic conditions. The subjects underwent a clinical TMD examination and an evaluation of the occlusion. The reliability of the multidimensional questionnaire was analysed for the CLP group by a test-retest study within a 2-3 week interval and most questions showed an overall good reliability. A panel of professionals judged the outcome of the surgical treatment on colour slides of the CLP subjects. The dental plaster casts of 39 subjects born with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) were analysed (mean age 24.7 years, range 20.2-29.3) and compared with the dental plaster casts taken at mean age of 19.1 years (range 16.0-20.6). The overall level of quality of life was rather high in both groups. The CLP group rated some detached aspects, such as life meaning, family life, and private economy, significantly lower than did the group without clefts. Overall aspects such as well-being and social life were affected by having a treated cleft but not the more practical and tangible aspects of their daily living. There was an overall high level of satisfaction with all the different part of the body in both groups, but the CLP group reported significantly more dissatisfaction with their nose, lips, mouth, profile, and overall facial appearance than the group without clefts. The professionals and the subjects with CLP were generally not very satisfied with the results of surgical treatment. Thirty of the subjects with CLP (47%) wished to have more operations. The professional group recommended further operations in 38 of the subjects (59%) in particular, rhinoplasties. The CLP group had significantly higher frequencies of cross-bite than the group without clefts, but no differences regarding TMD pain were found between the two groups. In the subjects with treated UCLP, there was a significant deterioration in the occlusal score and the maxillary arch dimensions between 19 and 25 years. This was irrespective of the type of retention. The persisting morphological malocclusion with a low frequency of interferences has had no influence on TMD symptoms in the group of CLP patients studied. The conclusion is that the CLP subjects in the present study seemed to be psychosocially well adjusted to their disability. However, 47 per cent wished to have further surgical treatment. The persisting malocclusions did not provoke TMD symptoms.