Gender Differences in Body Image Perception among 8 th Grade Pupils
Research background and hypothesis. Previous studies have shown that dissatisfaction with the body image
among girls often reflects a desire to be thinner, among boys – a desire to be bigger, taller, become more muscular
and have a nice body shape. It is known that adolescents have a very precise body image which is related to their own
perception. However, there is a gap in research, analyzing body image aspect, i. e. evaluation of specific body image
components. Hypothesis – there is a difference in the satisfaction level with specific body image components among
8 th grade pupils; body image assessment of 8 th grade pupils is different in the aspect of gender.
Research aim was to establish gender differences in body image perception among 8 th grade pupils.
Research methods. The research has been conducted during the months of March-April-May of 2012. A random
probability sampling method was used with 8 th grade pupils from 24 general education schools located in various
cities and towns around Lithuania. The research sample was comprised of 1347 (boys n = 674, girls n = 673) 8 th grade
pupils. To perform the diagnostic analysis, the author designed a body image perception questionnaire, composed
on the basis of V. Rittner (1986), A. Zaborskis et al. (1996), R. Jankauskienė (2001), A. Zaborskis, J. Makari (2001),
W. D. Brettschneider, T. Kleine, G. Klimek (2003), D. M. Garner (2004), R. Russell (2004), A. Miškinytė (2011),
Research results. Results of the present research allows concluding that respondents are more dissatisfied with
their body image components which are influenced by adolescents’ phenotype. i.e. stomach, shoulders, legs, thighs,
hips, buttocks, waist, shin, breast (p < 0.001). Gender differences in body image perception revealed that girls
tended to be more dissatisfied with their facial features (p < 0.001), nose (p < 0.001), cheeks (p = 0.003), facial
skin (p < 0.001), hair (p = 0.001), breasts (p = 0.004), waist (p = 0.001), stomach (p < 0.001), legs (p = 0.001), hips
(p < 0.001), thighs (p < 0.001), shin (p < 0,001), buttocks (p < 0.001), feet (p < 0.001), naked body (p < 0.001), body
shape (p < 0.001), and body weight (p < 0.001).
Discussion and conclusions. Differences in body image perception among 8 th grade pupils depend on gender,
i. e. girls compared to boys (p < 0.001), tend to be more dissatisfied with their body image.
Keywords: body image, adolescence, body weight, body type, body shape.
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