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”What people tell you gets to you”. On the links between peer victimization and adolescents’ body image concerns

Paper i proceeding
Författare Carolina Lunde
Ann Frisén
Publicerad i 15th European Conference on Developmental Psychology, program book
Publiceringsår 2011
Publicerad vid Psykologiska institutionen
Språk en
Ämnesord Peer victimization, body esteem
Ämneskategorier Genusstudier, Övrig annan samhällsvetenskap, Barn


Reports of peer victimization peak in early adolescence. This is also a time in life when the body and physical appearance become important for how adolescents feel about themselves. Body image, referring to feelings, thoughts and opinions toward one’s physical appearance, thus become increasingly critical for emotional well-being and psychological functioning. Indeed, individual body image is shaped in interaction with other people – your social interactions are a looking glass for how you come to view and evaluate yourself. But what if your social interactions are repeatedly negative and hostile, communicating that important others (e.g., peers) may not like you the way you are? In this oral presentation, we will argue that it is important to learn more about body image in the context of peer victimization. Four empirical studies on the links between peer victimization and adolescents’ body image concerns will be presented. The studies rely on cross-sectional, longitudinal, and qualitative data deriving from a large sample of young Swedish adolescents. With these studies we offer support for peer victimization being closely enmeshed with adolescents’ body image concerns. In sum, being subjected to peer victimization in the advent of adolescence may have serious and withstanding consequences for how individuals relate to their physical appearance, and to their bodies.

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