The Role of Friends and Peers in Adolescent Body Dissatisfaction: A Review and Critique of 15 Years of Research

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Webb, Haley J
Zimmer-Gembeck, Melanie J
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2014
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Abstract

We review the research conducted in the past 15 years concerned with the role of friends and peers in adolescent body dissatisfaction. A number of friend and peer group characteristics have been associated with heightened body dissatisfaction both concurrently and longitudinally. Most widely studied and more consistently linked to body dissatisfaction are appearance teasing and perceived pressure from friends to be thin. Other interactions between friends and peers that communicate and strengthen appearance ideals and direct attention to appearance also have been associated with body dissatisfaction, including appearance-related conversations, friends' modeling of dieting behavior, and perceptions of friends' appearance-related attitudes. Finally, the research is critiqued, new directions considered, and strategies are proposed that could be implemented to reduce body dissatisfaction.

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Journal of Research on Adolescence

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24

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4

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© 2013 Society for Research on Adolescence. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Social work

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