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Social comparisons are related to the development of body dissatisfaction among adolescents and adults, yet this relationship remains relatively unexamined among children. This study examines children’s peer and media-related social comparisons, and how this impacts on their body image. Children aged 8–10 years completed interviews (17 girls and 19 boys in individual interviews, and 16 girls and 16 boys in focus groups). Analyses revealed that appearance-related comparisons were more common among girls, whereas sports/ ability-related comparisons were more common for boys. In addition, boys viewed media comparisons as inspiring, whereas girls reported negative emotions. Implications for future research and prevention programmes are discussed.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

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Journal Article

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