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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. The datasets generated for this study are available on request to the corresponding author. Body image disturbance is associated with several mental disorders. research on body image has focused mostly on women, largely neglecting body image in men. Moreover, only a small of studies have conducted gender comparisons of body image over the lifespan and included participants aged 50 years and older. With regard to measurement, body image has often Dates fat older women Frederick assessed only in terms of body dissatisfaction, disregarding further aspects such as body appreciation or the importance of appearance.
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to explore different aspects of body image in the general German-speaking population and to compare men and women of various ages. Participants completed an online survey comprising questionnaires about body image.
Body dissatisfaction, importance of appearance, the of hours per day participants would invest and the of years they would sacrifice to achieve their ideal appearance, and body appreciation were assessed and analyzed with respect to gender and age differences. We hypothesized that body dissatisfaction and importance of appearance would be higher in women than in men, that body dissatisfaction would remain stable across age in women, and that importance of appearance would be lower in older women compared to younger women.
Body appreciation was predicted to be higher in men than in women. General and generalized linear models were used to examine the impact of age and gender. In line with our hypotheses, body dissatisfaction was higher in women than in men and was unaffected by age in women, and importance of appearance was higher in women than in men.
However, only in men did age predict a lower level of the importance of appearance. Compared to men, women stated that they would invest more hours of their lives to achieve their ideal appearance. For both genders, age was a predictor of the of years participants would sacrifice to achieve their ideal appearance. Contrary to our assumption, body appreciation improved and was higher in women across all ages than in men. Many people are concerned about at least one part Dates fat older women Frederick their body 1. Body image is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct, which encompasses a behavioral component involving body-related behaviors e.
Body dissatisfaction has been found to be a predictor for the development of an eating disorder 8 and occurs in individuals with different mental disorders, such as binge eating disorder or social anxiety disorder e. It represents one of the two poles of the satisfaction-dissatisfaction continuum of body image disturbance 4which encompasses measures of satisfaction e. Body appreciation was shown to predict indices of well-being beyond other measures of body image 19 and occurred simultaneously with body dissatisfaction, highlighting the independence of Dates fat older women Frederick two concepts In the past, studies have investigated the impact of gender and age on body features related to the cognitive-affective component.
Specifically, research on body dissatisfaction has shown that girls and female Dates fat older women Frederick e. While some studies revealed that the level of body dissatisfaction varied across different age groups 2728others found that body dissatisfaction remained quite stable across the adult lifespan in females 202529 Studies examining other aspects of the satisfaction-dissatisfaction continuum, such as weight dissatisfaction 1531 or satisfaction with particular body parts 1332also found body dissatisfaction in women.
In terms of Dates fat older women Frederick evaluation, striving for increased muscularity, referred to as drive for muscularity 35has emerged as a central issue for boys and men e. It was shown to be distinct from body dissatisfaction However, although studies reported that body dissatisfaction does not differ across age in women, it remains unclear whether the level of body dissatisfaction changes across age in men.
While body dissatisfaction seems to remain stable across age in women, studies suggest that the importance of appearance appears to decrease with age In line with Pliner and colleagues, Tiggemann and Lynch 41 found in a group of females aged 20 to 84 years that the importance of appearance was lower in older than in younger women. For men, only one study has examined the importance of appearance, and found that it varied between age groups and reached a peak at age 75 years and older To our knowledge, no other study has examined the importance of appearance in men over the lifetime.
Thus, it remains relatively unclear whether the importance of appearance remains stable or changes over the lifetime in men. With respect to body appreciation, Tiggemann and McCourt 20 demonstrated higher body appreciation in older than in younger women. Furthermore, high body appreciation was found to be protective against the negative effects of media exposure to thin models in women Other studies reported that body appreciation in men and women was associated with a low level of consumption of Western and appearance-focused media 44 and correlated negatively with internalization of sociocultural ideals However, studies focusing on age differences regarding body appreciation in males are lacking.
studies on body image have mostly considered age-related changes in either men or women, or in particular age groups e. Only a limited of studies have compared men and women with respect to the aforementioned aspects of body image. These studies generally found greater body dissatisfaction in females than in males e. Men vs.
Tylka and Wood-Barcalow 55 also reported higher body appreciation in college men vs. In contrast to this latter result, Swami and colleagues 53 reported higher body appreciation in men than in women in a sample from the general Austrian population. However, these studies comparing men and women did not analyze their data with respect to the impact of age.
Only a small of studies have investigated the effect of age and gender on body dissatisfaction, importance of appearance and body appreciation. In a two-year longitudinal study, Mellor and colleagues 56 found that Dates fat older women Frederick dissatisfaction was higher in females than in males and higher in younger than in older participants. In another longitudinal study, Keel and colleagues 15 examined men and women over a period of 20 years. As men aged, the authors observed increasing weight and increasing weight dissatisfaction, while weight dissatisfaction decreased in women despite analogous increases in weight.
The authors concluded that women appear to be more accepting of their weight as they age Unfortunately, the mean age at the year follow-up was only 40 years, meaning that conclusions could not be drawn about the whole adult lifespan. However, these have to be interpreted with caution, as the sample consisted of twins and was thus not representative of the general population.
Other studies found higher levels of body dissatisfaction 28 and lower levels of satisfaction with certain body areas 29 in Dates fat older women Frederick than in men. However, the latter study did not find any gender- or age-related effect on overall body dissatisfaction These are contrary to the findings of Tiggemann and Lynch 41 and Pliner et al. Hence, the development of importance of appearance in men and women across the lifespan remains unclear. Although, as mentioned above, some studies have found that women place less importance on their appearance as they age 4041this aspect has not been examined in a large population sample comprising different age groups in relation to the impact of gender and age.
Furthermore, studies comparing body appreciation between men and women across different age groups are lacking.
To our knowledge, no study has examined body dissatisfaction, importance of appearance and body appreciation in the general population including men and women aged 16 to 50 years and older. Therefore, the present study aims to fill this research gap by analyzing these negative and positive aspects of body image in a general population sample considering gender and age. First, based on the findings outlined above, we predicted that body dissatisfaction would be higher in women than in men Hypothesis 1 and would remain stable across age in women Hypothesis 2. As no study has investigated body dissatisfaction across the whole lifespan in men, we aimed to examine a potential influence of age on body dissatisfaction in men.
Second, we hypothesized that women would place more importance on their appearance than men Hypothesis 3but that in line with the aforementioned studies, across age, older women would report lower levels of importance than younger women Hypothesis 4. Given the lack of corresponding studies in men, we intended to investigate the importance of appearance and its relation to age in men in an exploratory analysis.
However, it does not quantify how many hours or years people would be willing to invest in their appearance to look the way they want to. Therefore, as a measure of the importance of appearance, we additionally assessed the Dates fat older women Frederick hours men and women would be willing to invest per day to achieve their ideal appearance, and the of years of their life they would sacrifice to achieve their ideal appearance.
Third, we predicted that body appreciation would be higher in men Dates fat older women Frederick in women Hypothesis 5. As the aforementioned studies examined gender differences without analyzing the impact of age, we aimed to investigate potential changes in body appreciation across age in an exploratory manner.
Fourth, to take into the well-documented increase in BMI over the lifetime e. Inclusion criteria were age 16 years and older, sufficient German-language skills, and internet access. All participants completed a questionnaire assessing demographic data such as gender, age, height and weight, educational level, relationship status, sexual orientation, and of children.
The item on sexual orientation was optional. For the purpose of this study, the Appearance Evaluation Scale seven items and Body Dates fat older women Frederick Satisfaction Scale nine items were used to assess body dissatisfaction, and the Appearance Orientation Scale 12 items was applied to examine the importance people place on their appearance.
While the English-language version has been validated in both men and women 16the German-language version has only been validated for females Participants were recruited via social media, mailing lists, press releases, advertisements, and flyers and were asked to take part in a short online survey comprising different questionnaires about body image. To access the study website, they could either scan a barcode or use a web link. Participants were informed about the purpose of the study and were asked Dates fat older women Frederick provide their informed consent by clicking a button next to a declaration asserting that they agree to the processing of their personal data according to the given information.
The survey began once participants had provided consent and took approximately 10 min to complete. Participants were offered no financial compensation for study participation. Data analysis was performed using the software SPSS Statistics version 25; IBM 63 for descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, and general linear models and the software R version 3. For group comparisons on demographic and descriptive variables Table 1we calculated Mann-Whitney U Tests, as our data were not normally distributed except BMI.
Since inferential statistics for simple comparisons are massively overpowered in such large samples, we additionally report effect sizes. For better interpretability, U -values were converted into correlation coefficients r 68 Descriptive statistics and group comparisons regarding age, height, weight, BMI, depression, and self-esteem. Age in years; height in centimeters; weight in kilograms.
In all general linear models and all generalized linear models, outlier detection marked him as an outlier and did not include him in the analyses.
For linear and generalized linear Dates fat older women Frederick, gender was dummy-coded, with men as the reference category. Age was centered to simplify the interpretation of the model coefficients. Due to missing data on single items within the questionnaires, the sample sizes for the initial model estimations varied, since participants were only included in the respective data analysis if they answered all items of a scale.
The highest of outliers was detected for the Body Areas Satisfaction Scale, with 3. Comparisons of the models with and without outliers revealed no substantial differences; hence, we report the models without potential outliers, as power issues were not expected for such a large sample size and precision of estimates was prioritized. Final sample sizes are reported for each model Tables 4 and 5. Descriptive statistics regarding the scores on the scales Appearance Evaluation, Body Areas Satisfaction, Appearance Orientation, hours of investment, and years of sacrifice, as well as Body Appreciation for total sample, women and men used in the final models.
M, mean; SD, standard deviation; N, sample size; Min, minimum; Max, maximum; Hours, Dates fat older women Frederick hours per day men and women would invest to achieve their ideal appearance; Years, of years men and women would sacrifice to achieve their ideal appearance. General linear models for the prediction of Appearance Evaluation, Body Areas Satisfaction and Appearance Orientation as well as generalized linear models for the prediction of Body Appreciation, the of hours per day participants would invest to achieve their ideal appearance, and the of years participants would sacrifice to achieve their ideal appearance, with gender and age as predictors.
For the Body Areas Satisfaction Scale, the assumption of homogeneity was violated. Therefore, a general linear model was calculated, using the HC3 method for robust estimation of the standard errors. Furthermore, due to skewness and non-normal distribution of the data, responses to the Body Appreciation Scale-2 were inverted and a generalized linear model with a gamma distribution and identity link function was used. The analyses of hours people would invest in their appearance and years people would sacrifice from their lives indicated severe violations of the assumptions of the general linear model, since their distributions were similar to zero-bounded count data.
Therefore, the s of hours and years were rounded to integer values to enable us to calculate several Poisson and negative binomial regression models, which are suitable for count data. The fit of each Dates fat older women Frederick was assessed by tests for overdispersion and zero inflation, as well as by tests of residual fit using the DHARMa package.
As a final model for the analyses of the years people would sacrifice from their lives, we used a negative binomial regression with a log-link and linearly increasing variance 73 and adjustment for zero inflation for the intercept using the glmmTMB package.
For the analyses of the hours people would spend on their appearance, we used a negative binomial regression with the log-link function using the MASS package. Descriptive statistics and group differences are shown in Table 1. Men and women differed ificantly in terms of age, height, weight, BMI, and self-esteem.
Compared to women, men were slightly older, taller, and heavier and had a higher BMI.Dates fat older women Frederick
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