Friendship group influences on body dissatisfaction and dieting among adolescent girls: a prospective study.

Abstract

PURPOSE Although some studies among adolescent girls found that friends within friendship groups were rather similar on dieting and/or body image constructs, these studies were limited by their cross-sectional designs. The current prospective study is the first to examine friendship group influences on eating disorder risk factors, including body dissatisfaction, weight concerns, dietary restraint, and dieting in adolescent girls. METHODS Design was a two-wave prospective study with 1-year interval. Of 863 girls (mean age = 13.8, SD = .7), 344 were members of one of the 103 reciprocal friendship groups identified using social network analysis. RESULTS Reciprocal friends were similar with respect to body image and dieting constructs. However, initial friendship group levels of body dissatisfaction, weight concerns, dietary restraint, and dieting did not predict individual body image and dieting variables 1 year later. CONCLUSIONS The current findings attest to the significance of reciprocal friendship group correlates of eating disorder risk factors, but suggest that during early-to-mid-adolescence, levels of body image concerns and dieting within reciprocal friendship groups do not influence adolescents' own body image concerns and dieting over 1 year of time.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.03.006

Cite this paper

@article{Woelders2010FriendshipGI, title={Friendship group influences on body dissatisfaction and dieting among adolescent girls: a prospective study.}, author={Lieke C S Woelders and Junilla K. Larsen and R . H . J . Scholte and Antonius H. N. Cillessen and Rutger C. M. E. Engels}, journal={The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine}, year={2010}, volume={47 5}, pages={456-62} }