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This study investigated how dissatisfaction with various aspects of the body is associated with overall body dissatisfaction among female adolescents in Western and Asian cultures. Data used in the study were obtained from 58 Malaysian Malays, 95 Malaysian Chinese, 242 Chinese from China, and 81 non-Asian Australians aged 12–19 years (M = 15.72, SD = 1.72) who were recruited from high schools. Participants completed a questionnaire assessing dissatisfaction with their body overall, and dissatisfaction with varying aspects of their body. Malaysian Chinese were the most dissatisfied with their bodies. After controlling for body mass index (BMI), age and dissatisfaction with weight/shape, upper, middle and lower body, and muscles, dissatisfaction with the face was positively correlated with overall body dissatisfaction among Malaysian Malays and Australians. These findings demonstrate the importance of using assessment measures that address all possible areas of body focus as well as being tailored to the relevant culture.


Institute for Health and Ageing

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Journal Article

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