BEING PROUD OF ONESELF AS A PERSON OR BEING PROUD OF ONE’S PHYSICAL APEARANCE: WHAT MATTERS FOR FEELING WELL IN ADOLESCENCE?

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Abstract:

Among the numerous studies aimed at examining the link between appearance satisfaction and self-esteem at adolescence very few, except Zumpf and Harter (1989), have specifically examined the directionality of the relation. Hence, the first goal of this study was to examine the distribution of adolescents, according to their gender and grade level, within each of the following two groups: those who acknowledge that the evaluation of their physical appearance precedes and determines their global self-esteem, and those who conversely believe that they must first be satisfied with their global sense of self in order to be satisfied with their physical appearance. The second goal was to examine whether adolescents' perceived competence in various domains of daily life functioning differs according to how they value physical appearance. Participants were 1,362 adolescents (540 boys and 822 girls) from the 7th, 9th and 11th grades. Overall, 35% of adolescents acknowledged that their perceived appearance determined their self-esteem, with boys and girls being proportionally distributed between the groups. Adolescents in the group more concerned with appearance reported lower satisfaction with their physical appearance, lower self-esteem than others, and lower perceived competence in the scholastic and social domains.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2007.35.2.255

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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