Body Image, Self-Esteem, Media, Disordered Eating and Actual Ideal Weight Discrepancy: Findings in Cyprus
The current study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the actual ideal weight discrepancy and the following variables in adolescents from Cyprus: self-esteem, appearance satisfaction, investment in appearance, weight-related anxiety, internalization of the thin and athletic ideals, the perception of the media as a good source of information in regards to appearance, the perception of the media as a source of pressure, and disordered eating symptomatology. The sample consisted of 2220 high school students (881 boys, 1339 girls) who answered the measures of interest. Results indicated significant relationships between the actual ideal weight discrepancy and all the variables of interest. In addition, results indicated weight-related anxiety and appearance satisfaction to be significant predictors of the actual ideal discrepancy in both boys and girls. Significant gender differences concerning the actual ideal weight discrepancy were also found where girls reported higher levels of discrepancy. No differences were found concerning age, socioeconomic status and place of upbringing and residence. The results of this study offer important additional information to the body image and disordered eating literature regarding a construct (actual ideal weight discrepancy) never examined before in Cyprus. This information could be used by Cypriot and European mental health professionals when working with children and teenagers who are at risk for or exhibit symptoms related to eating disorders and in developing prevention interventions.