AffiliationFaculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing
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AbstractNegative body image is commonplace among females. The start point for this programme of research was to undertake a systematic review to (a) provide a comprehensive review of sport and exercise interventions intended to enhance female adolescent body image, (b) identify research strengths and limitations, and (c) inform the development of interventions to enhance body-esteem. Findings illustrated inconsistencies in measures and methods used to assess adolescent body image, and equivocality in study outcomes. Researchers and practitioners alike need to know if changes in body-image scores can be attributed to an intervention or a product of using an unstable scale. Study two built on the systematic review by examining the test-retest stability of the 14-item Body Esteem Scale (BES; Confalonieri et al., 2008) among female adolescents. It also assesses the stability of the scale within and across the contexts of a school hall (in uniform) and Physical Education (PE) within changing rooms (in PE kit). Findings indicate good test-retest stability for BES subscales within context, but poor test-retest stability across contexts. Body esteem was consistently lower when completed wearing PE kit, as opposed to school uniform. These findings informed a simple PE uniform intervention for study three that sought to enhance body esteem in PE contexts. Girls first completed the BES wearing traditional PE kit. Then, for a two-week period, they were allowed to wear PE clothing from a flexible range of options, completing the BES again at the end of this period. Across all three subscales (appearance, weight, and attribution), body-esteem scores were highest when afforded flexibility in PE clothing options. The intervention delivered presents a simple, cost effective, scalable, and effective strategy that may prevent a reduction in body-esteem ascribed to PE contexts for adolescent girls. It is known that low body-esteem presents a barrier to engagement in physical activity for female adolescents, whilst participating in physical activity has been found to act a protective factor against low body-esteem by decreasing body image disturbance. Further research is required to test the efficacy and transferability of sport clothing interventions on body esteem in different contexts and among different groups. For example, different age groups, ethnic groups, gender, disability status, religion, educational level and deprivation levels that include socially disadvantaged communities. Research is also required to establish the longitudinal effects of such interventions.
CitationDalmedo, S. (2022) Examining body image among adolescent girls. University of Wolverhampton. http://hdl.handle.net/2436/624967
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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