Objective: The main aim of this study was to provide a detailed examination of the nature of the messages that adolescent boys and girls receive about their body. Method: Forty adolescent boys and 40 adolescent girls participated in an in-depth interview to gain an understanding of the range of potential 'sources' of body-related messages. Results: Messages were organized around the source of these messages (self, mother, father, brother, sister, female friends, male friends, media). There were consistent gender differences in the way that adolescents received and interpreted messages about their bodies, with girls overall receiving more positive and negative messages than boys. Boys reported receiving virtually no negative messages from most people. Discussion: The content of internal dialogue among adolescents revealed that messages about the body could be interpreted, distorted and deflected. The implications of these findings for preventing body image related problems and disordered eating among adolescents are discussed
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