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Sex Differences in Quality of Life Impairment Associated With Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescents

Griffiths, S, Murray, SB, Bentley, C, Gratwick-Sarll, K, Harrison, C and Mond, JM ORCID: 0000-0002-0410-091X 2017 , 'Sex Differences in Quality of Life Impairment Associated With Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescents' , Journal of Adolescent Health, vol. 61, no. 1 , pp. 77-82 , doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.01.016.

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Purpose: Body dissatisfaction is strongly associated with quality of life impairment among bothmale and female adults, and the strength of this relationship is comparable between the sexes.Whether this is the case among adolescents, however, is unclear.Methods: Adolescent girls (n ¼ 1,135) and boys (n ¼ 531) aged 12e18 years were recruited fromsecondary schools located in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. Students completed asurvey that included measures of body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms, and psychosocialhealth - and physical health - related quality of life.Results: Girls reported higher levels of dissatisfaction than boys for each of the 12 body featuresassessed. The strength of the adverse associations between body dissatisfaction and quality of lifeimpairment did not, however, differ by sex, and this was the case for both physical health-relatedand psychosocial quality of life domains. For both girls and boys, associations between bodydissatisfaction and both quality of life impairment persisted after controlling for eating disordersymptoms, body mass index, and other covariates.Conclusions: While levels of body dissatisfaction remain higher in girls than in boys, the adverseimpact of body dissatisfaction on adolescents’ quality of life does not appear to differ by sex. This impactentails impairment in both physical health and psychosocial quality of life domains and does not appearto be accounted for by an association between body dissatisfaction and eating disorder pathology. Thefindings support the need to conceive of body dissatisfaction as a public health concern in its own right.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Griffiths, S and Murray, SB and Bentley, C and Gratwick-Sarll, K and Harrison, C and Mond, JM
Keywords: Body dissatisfaction, Body image, Quality of life, Gender differences
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Adolescent Health
Publisher: Elsevier Science Inc
ISSN: 1054-139X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.01.016
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Copyright 2017 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.

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