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Title: Sociocultural influences on body image concerns through adulthood. (BL: DXN057341)
Author: Halliwell, E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 0785
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis focuses on body image concerns throughout adulthood, specifically on the impact of sociocultural attitudes concerning appearance on adults'body image concerns. To date research has concentrated on body image amongst young women and eating disordered populations. Little is known about the body image concerns of men, or adult women. Research indicates that sociocultural attitudes concerning appearance are transmitted to girls and young women through a variety of sources. However, the role of these in influencing adults' body image has not been investigated. Qualitative and quantitative methods are employed to address these gaps in the literature. The empirical programme consists of an in-depth interview study (N=42), two surveys - one with students (N=158) and one with a general population sample (N=366) - and an experimental study (N=203). The interview study indicates that adult body-focused concerns are highly gendered Also that ageing has a complex influence on body image concerns. The first quantitative study applies self-discrepancy theory to an investigation of body image. The findings suggest that ideal, but not ought, self-discrepancies have utility in explaining body image concerns. This is followed up in a questionnaire study of adults'body image concerns. In addition to internalised sociocultural attitudes towards appearance romantic relationships were found to constitute an important interpersonal influence on body image concerns. Also results from the experimental study suggest that average size models could be successful in advertising and, potentially, could decrease body anxiety in a large proportion of adult women relative to viewing thin models. Body image concerns continue to be relevant to women, and men, throughout adulthood. Gender differences are evident in conceptualisations of the body, as well as levels of body satisfaction Further more gendered conceptualisations of the body may explain differences in the consequences of body dissatisfaction of or women and men. This research suggests that existing measures may not reflect adequately gender and age differences in body image concerns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available