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JOURNAL OF EARLY ADOLESCENCE / May 2000Williams, Currie / PUBERTA TIMI G AND BODY IMAGE Self-Esteem and Physical Development in Early Adolescence: Pubertal Timing and Body Image

By Joanne M. Williams and Candace Currie


Relations between self-esteem, pubertal timing, and body image were investigated with a representative sample of Scottish schoolgirls 11 (n = 1,012,X = 11.53 years, SD = 0.32) and 13 (n = 799,X = 13.53, SD = 0.32) years of age. Data were derived from the Health Behaviour in School Children: WHO Cross-National Survey, specifically the Scottish survey. Among 11-year-olds, early maturation and lower ratings of body image (body size and perceived appearance) were associated with lower reported levels of self-esteem. There also was evidence that body image mediated the relation of pubertal tim-ing on self-esteem for this age group. Among 13-year-olds, reports of body size concerns and poorer perceived appearance were predictive of lower ratings of self-esteem, as was late maturation. In this case, there was no evidence of mediation. Results lend support to the contention that pubertal timing influences body image and self-esteem. Self-esteem during early adolescence is influenced by many factors includ-ing physical development. The timing of puberty relative to age peers (early, on time, or late) has been indicated to have consequences for self-esteem (Tobin-Richards, Boxer, & Petersen, 1983). Puberty involves changes in physical appearance and body shape that, in turn, have the potential specifi-cally to affect body image and body satisfaction. Investigated in the present study were relations of pubertal timing to both body image and self-estee

Year: 2016
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