James Collison* and Lisa Harrison Pages 206 - 218 ( 13 )
Background: Body dysmorphic disorder encompasses a range of cognitive and behavioural states stemming from distressing, negative evaluations of one’s appearance. Despite the seriousness of this condition, little is known about who is likely to receive a diagnosis and more importantly what the putative risk factors are. This is particularly so among adolescent samples, where the extant literature is considerably smaller.
Objective: This study had two broad aims: to estimate the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder within a young-adult population, and to examine the predictors of body image disturbance.
Methods: Three-hundred and four adolescents (242 females; Mage = 17.68) completed the Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire and Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire, along with measures of clinical psychopathology, self-esteem, experiences of parenting, and bullying.
Results: Body dysmorphic disorder was present in 3.9% of the sample, which is in line with previous estimates among adolescents. More interestingly, results indicated that instances of high stress, low self-esteem, and reported experiences of bullying were able to predict 48% of body image dissatisfaction.
Conclusion: Psychological interventions should be directed towards adolescents with body image concerns, especially if they also report bullying, elevated stress, or diminished selfesteem. However, additional research is still warranted to gain an increasingly accurate understanding of the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder and who is susceptible to developing this disorder and how we can best serve these individuals in the community.
Adolescents, body dysmorphic disorder, body image disturbance, predictors, prevalence, young adults.
School of Psychology, Western Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, School of Psychology, Western Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales