Weight-related teasing: relationship to body image, self-esteem, and relative body size of adult females

by Breseman, Betsy Covell

Abstract (Summary)
Teasing related to weight may occur more often than many other types of teasing during childhood and adolescence. Because people tend to compare themselves with their peers, they may be inclined toward lower body image and self-esteem if they perceive they fail to compare favorably. When overweight or obese individuals compare themselves to their peers, they may discover that a stigma exists against the obese based on subjective cultural ideals of beauty and slenderness. The current study examined weight-related teasing phenomena based on the recollections of adult females with Body Mass Indices from underweight to morbidly obese. A mailed survey assessed respondents’ levels of body image, self-esteem, proneness to hurt feelings, and perceptions of teasing. Open-ended questions provided narratives of teasing incidents related to appearance and weight. The goal of the research was to explore the possibility of weight-related teasing as more pervasive than other types of appearance-related teasing, and that the impact on body image and self-esteem would be more negative among respondents in the overweight, obese, and morbidly obese categories. Results revealed moderate correlations between variables. Analyses of variance indicated differences between underweight and normal Body Mass Index categories and the overweight, obese, and morbidly obese categories. Narratives provided support for the statistical evidence and revealed a greater understanding of the experience of teasing about weight.
Bibliographical Information:


School:The Ohio State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2004

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