Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Trends in the perceived body size of adolescent males and females in Scotland, 1990–2014: changing associations with mental well-being

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives:
This paper explores trends in Scottish adolescents’ body size perceptions and associated mental well-being outcomes.
Methods:
Data were collected on Scottish 11, 13 and 15-year olds by the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study between 1990 and 2014 (n=42,312). Logistic regression was used to examine changes in the prevalence of over- and underweight perceptions. Ordinal and linear regression was used to examine changes in the association between body perception and mental well-being.
Results:
Little change was observed in over- or under-weight perceptions between 1990 and 2014. However, relative to those perceiving their body as ‘about right’, those perceiving themselves as overweight reported decreasing confidence (all groups), decreasing happiness (11- and 13-year old girls) and increasing psychological symptoms (all girls and 15 year-old boys). Perceived underweight is associated with poor well-being, especially in males, but we present little evidence that this is a recent phenomenon.
Conclusions:
We present evidence suggesting that the influence of body image on adolescent mental health is increasing over time. This may play a role in the recently observed worsening of mental well-being in Scottish adolescents.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume63
Issue number1
Early online date1 Jul 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

    Research areas

  • Body image, Body size perception, Overweight, Underweight, Adolescents, Mental well-being

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. HBSC Briefing paper 24: Mental and emotional well-being in Scottish adolescents

    Cosma, A. P., Rhodes, G., Currie, C. E., Inchley, J. C., Currie, D. B., Hunter, K. J., Neville, F. G. & Whitehead, R. D. 1 Mar 2016 St Andrews: Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit (CAHRU). 6 p. (HBSC Briefing Paper; no. 24)

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  2. HBSC Findings 2014: Young Persons’ Report

    Neville, F. G., Whitehead, R. D., Cosma, A. P., Currie, C. E., Currie, D. B. & Inchley, J. C. Mar 2016 Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit (CAHRU). 4 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  3. HBSC Briefing paper 23: Subjective health and medicine use among Scottish adolescents

    Cosma, A. P., Rhodes, G., Currie, C. E., Inchley, J. C., Currie, D. B., Neville, F. G., Hunter, K. J. & Whitehead, R. D. Mar 2016 St Andrews: Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit (CAHRU). 6 p. (HBSC Briefing Paper; no. 23)

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  4. HBSC Briefing paper 26: Active Travel to School

    Whitehead, R. D., Hunter, J., Inchley, J. C., Currie, C. E., Cosma, A. P., Currie, D. B., Hunter, K. J., Neville, F. G. & Rhodes, G. 2016 Child and Adolescent Health Research Unit (CAHRU).

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Related by journal

ID: 245628851