A longitudinal investigation of the mediating role of self-esteem and body importance in the relationship between stress and body dissatisfaction in adolescent females and males

Kristen MURRAY, Elizabeth Rieger, Don Byrne

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Body dissatisfaction is particularly prevalent during adolescence and has recently been linked to stress in females and males. However, prospective studies are needed to better understand the relationship between stress and body dissatisfaction. The present study investigates the direction of this association and the mediating role of self-esteem and body image importance. A sample of 298 adolescent females and males in Grades 7 to 10 (ages 12 to 17 years) were surveyed at two time points over a one-year period. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that stress significantly predicted body dissatisfaction one year later. Furthermore, a multiple mediation analysis controlling for gender revealed a significant indirect effect in both cross-sectional and longitudinal models, indicating that stress predicts reductions in self-esteem and increases in body importance, which in turn predict body dissatisfaction. These findings suggest that stress, self-esteem, and body importance should be included in programmes aimed at improving body dissatisfaction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-551
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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