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What characterizes early adolescents with a positive body image? A qualitative investigation of Swedish girls and boys

Journal article
Authors Ann Frisén
Kristina Holmqvist
Published in Body Image
Volume 7
Pages 205-212
Publication year 2010
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 205-212
Language en
Keywords Positive body image, Semi-structure interviews, Adolescents, Exercise, Appearance-related feed-back
Subject categories Psychology


The aim of the present study was to investigate positive body image during adolescence. Semistructured interviews, centring on three body image domains (satisfaction with own appearance, views on exercise, and influence from family and friends) were conducted with 30 early adolescent Swedish girls and boys who at age 10 and 13 had shown the highest level of body satisfaction in a large longitudinal sample. The data were analyzed thematically. Results revealed that the adolescents’ satisfaction with their own appearance was characterized by a functional view of the body and an acceptance of the bodily imperfections that they perceived that they had. The vast majority of the adolescents were physically active and found exercise joyful and health-promoting. Finally, although some of the adolescents had received negative comments about their appearance from family and friends, such comments were not given any importance.

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