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Relations between girls' weight control attitudes and behavior and those of their friends, a study of peer influence

by Schwartz, Dara F.

Abstract (Summary)
The present shidy focused on 13- to 15-year old girls' (g=92) influences on each other conceming attitudes and behaviors towards eating and body weight, using weight control methods (e-g., dieting, exercising, vomiting, use of over the counter medication) as well as bhge-purge behavior. Participants completed a 39-item forced choice questionnaire which included modified items fiom the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI; Garner, Ohstead, & Polivy). Three types of fnendship groups were assessed including ''fiiendship network " (6 girls you "hang out9'with), "close fiïendships" (3 girls you feel closest to), and "reciprocated friendships". Results indicated that girls' perceptions of peer pressure to be thin were related to the perceptions of their reciprocated and close & ends. Furthemore, girls' perceptions of peer pressure to be thin were significantly and positively related to self-reports of weight control methods. binge-purge behavior, and negative attitudes about their bodies and weight. Girls' attitudes about their own bodies and weight were related significantly to those of their Friends as were binge-purge behavior and most of the weight control methods. These results suggest that peers do influence young girls' attitudes and behaviors concerning eating and body weight and suggest that prevention should start early and target not only individuals, but also their fnends. Approval Abstract List of Tables
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1998

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