Home > How we see it. Report of a survey on young people's body image.

O'Connell, Angela (2012) How we see it. Report of a survey on young people's body image. Dublin: Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

PDF (Body image report) - Published Version

There is a growing body of research in Western and developing cultures demonstrating that teenagers, and teenage girls in particular, are worried about body image, although earlier studies also indicated an increasing concern with body image among boys. Negative body image is associated with poorer mental well-being, eating disorders, self-harm, acceptance of plastic surgery, smoking, use of anabolic steroids and dieting aids, excessive exercise, becoming the target of teasing and bullying, and developing a lack of confidence in interpersonal relationships. Fear of being seen as gay or lesbian (homophobia) in defining both male and female bodies, and in policing behaviour, is also implicit in many of the studies.

The main recommendations made by the young people who completed the survey can be broadly grouped under four approaches:
• A Body Image Awareness campaign – to highlight the complex issues facing young people in relation to how they feel about their bodies.
• Personal Development programmes and education – to help young people to develop a more positive body image.
• Information that is made available and accessible to young people on issues such as healthy eating, eating disorders, obesity and anabolic steroids.
• Promoting sports and exercise – to make young people healthier.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
CNS stimulants, Prescription/Over the counter
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
October 2012
48 p.
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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