A Longitudinal Study of Appearance-based Rejection Sensitivity and the Peer Appearance Culture
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Drawing from theory that implicates the peer appearance culture in shaping adolescents' appearance concerns, we examined whether friends' reports of the appearance culture were associated with increases in emerging adolescents’ appearance-based rejection sensitivity (appearance-RS) over six months. Gender and age differences were also assessed. We used peer nominations to identify dyadic friendships (n = 178 adolescents/89 dyads, Mage = 12.0), and unique friendship networks (n = 284, Mage = 12.0). Appearance-RS increased more over a 6-month period when adolescents had reciprocated best friends who reported more body change and extreme weight loss behaviours, and when they had a best friend with a higher BMI. This suggests that observable features of friends may be most relevant. Also, however, adolescents showed greater increases in appearance-RS when they belonged to a friendship group that reported higher appearance dissatisfaction, and adolescents showed less increases in appearance-RS when their friends reported more positive appearance self-perceptions.
Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology
© 2016 Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
Cognitive Science not elsewhere classified