Body Dissatisfaction and Self-Esteem in Female Students Aged 9-15: The Effects of Age, Family Income, Body Mass Index Levels and Dance Practice

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Lilian A. Monteiro, Jefferson S. Novaes, Mara L. Santos, Helder M. Fernandes

This study aimed to analyze the effects of age, family income, body mass index and dance practice on levels of body dissatisfaction and self-esteem in female students. The sample consisted of 283 female subjects attending a public school with a mean age of 11.51±1.60 years and a mean body mass index of 18.72 kg/m2 (SD=3.32). The instruments used were the Body Dissatisfaction Scale for Adolescents and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, both of which showed good internal consistency (0.77 and 0.81, respectively). The tests were applied (two-factor ANOVA) to compare the students practicing and those not practicing dance; the differences in the levels of body dissatisfaction (p=0.104) and self-esteem (p=0.09) were considered significant. The results demonstrated that age negatively correlated with body dissatisfaction (r=-0.19; p<0.01) and that higher body mass index levels were associated with greater body dissatisfaction (r=0.15, p=0.016) and lower levels of self-esteem (r=-0.17, p<0.01) only in non-practitioners. The practice of dance had a significant effect on levels of body dissatisfaction (F=4.79; p=0.030; η²=0.02), but there was no significant difference in self-esteem (F=1.88; p=0.172; η²=0.02). It can be concluded that female children and adolescents practicing dance have higher self-esteem, and are more satisfied with their body weight and their appearance. Moreover, results showed that self-esteem and body dissatisfaction were influenced by the body mass index levels only in the non-practitioners group.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0086
Key words
dancers, body image, public school

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