Title

The Impact of Appearance-Related Teasing By Family Members

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Keywords

Teasing, Body image, Eating disorders, Risk factors

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.08.015

Abstract

Purpose: This study evaluated the prevalence and effects of teasing by family members on body dissatisfaction, eating disturbance, and psychological functioning.

Methods: Self-report data were collected from 372 middle school girls who were part of a larger study in a Tampa Bay, Florida area middle school (mean age: 12.6 years; 85% Caucasian).

Results: Twenty-three percent of participants reported appearance-related teasing by a parent, and 12% were teased by a parent about being heavy. Nineteen percent of the girls reported appearance-related teasing by fathers, 13% reported appearance-related teasing by mothers, and 29% reported appearance-related teasing by siblings. After controlling for body mass index (BMI) and maternal teasing, paternal teasing was a significant predictor of body dissatisfaction, comparison, thin-ideal internalization, restriction, bulimic behaviors, self-esteem, and depression. After controlling for BMI and paternal teasing, maternal teasing was a significant predictor of depression. After controlling for BMI and maternal teasing, paternal teasing significantly increased the odds of having a sibling who teases. Girls who reported being teased by at least one sibling demonstrated significantly higher levels of body dissatisfaction, comparison, thin-ideal internalization, restriction, bulimic behaviors, depression, and significantly lower levels of self-esteem than those girls who reported they were not teased by their siblings. Frequency of teasing was associated with higher levels of negative outcomes.

Conclusions: This study has implications for treatment and prevention of eating disorders. The results suggest that health care providers should assess appearance-related teasing in their patients’ lives to identify girls who may be at risk for body image and eating disturbance and poor psychological functioning.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Adolescent Health, v. 37, issue 2, p. 120-127

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