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October 2021

Body image, self-esteem, and health status in middle and later adulthood

Author(s): Phythian, K.

Journal/Book: Aust Psychol. 1999; 34: 1 Grattan Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053, Australia. Australian Psychological Soc. 116-121.

Abstract: This research explored body image in middle and later adulthood, and the relationship between body image, self-esteem, and health status. Questionnaires assessing multidimensional body-image attitudes, self-esteem, and health status were completed by 159 females and 122 males (mean = 56.4 years,SD = 10.8). Body image was relatively stable in females across age in this sample, but in older males there was a decrease in Appearance Evaluation (attractiveness) and Orientation, and Fitness Evaluation, and an increase in the importance of health. Independent of age, females. Reported greater body Disparagement, Feeling Fat, Salience of Weight/Shape, and Appearance Orientation than males, although there were no sex differences in Appearance Evaluation. Self-esteem was positively correlated with Appearance Evaluation. Fitness Evaluation, Health Evaluation, Health Orientation, and Health Status in both females and males. A significant interaction between age and sex on self-esteem was found, with a decrease with age in males and an increase in females. In males and females, health indicators were the major predictors of self-esteem but, in females, Appearance Evaluation also made a unique contribution to the prediction of self-esteem. In females, Health Status was significantly predicted by indicators of low body-image preoccupation, while, in males, Fitness Orientation made the greatest contribution to the prediction of Health Status.

Note: Article Paxton SJ, Univ Melbourne, Dept Psychol, Parkville, Vic 3052, AUSTRALIA


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