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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Effect of gender composition of school on body concerns in adolescent women.

Author: Tiggemann, Marika
Author Background: Flinders U of South Australia, School of Psychology, Adelaide, SA, Australia
Date 3/2001
Type Journal
Journal Title: International-Journal-of-Eating-Disorders
Volume/Pages Vol 29(2): 239-243
Subject Matter Youths, Research, Females, Body Image; Eating Disorders; School Environment, Coeducation
Abstract Investigated the role of gender composition of school on body figure preferences, eating disorder symptomology, and role concerns. Questionnaires were completed by 261 adolescent girls (mean age 16.1 yrs) in 2 private single-sex and 2 private coeducational school environments. Results show that there was no difference in nominated ideal figure or eating disorder scores between the schools. However, girls in the single-sex schools placed a greater emphasis on achievement than their counterparts at the coeducational schools. These role concerns had a differential impact on prediction of the ideal figure, whereby the importance placed on intelligence and professional success predicted the choice of a thinner ideal figure for the single-sex schools, but a larger ideal for the coeducational schools. It was concluded that the motivation for thinness differs between single-sex and coeducational schools. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2000 APA, all rights reserved)