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How do I look? Links amongst body image, family functioning and parent-child relationships in teenage girls. Carla Crespo, Jan Pryor, Magda Kielpikowski.

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Presentation on theme: "How do I look? Links amongst body image, family functioning and parent-child relationships in teenage girls. Carla Crespo, Jan Pryor, Magda Kielpikowski."— Presentation transcript:

1 How do I look? Links amongst body image, family functioning and parent-child relationships in teenage girls. Carla Crespo, Jan Pryor, Magda Kielpikowski and Paul Jose Roy McKenzie Centre for the Study of Families -Victoria University of Wellington- New Zealand

2 How does a family researcher get involved with studying body image? The interest… “Biting the hand that starves you” Richard Maisel, David Epston and Ali Borden The opportunity… The Youth Connectedness Project: a 3 year longitudinal study of young people in New Zealand

3 Tim terlimn fjfjfjf

4 Research tells us that… - Prevalence Body dissatisfaction has been reported by % of adolescent girls (large community samples) - Consequences Adolescents’ body dissatisfaction - is a risk factor for eating pathology - has links with depressed mood

5 Tripartite Influence Model (Keery, van den Berg, & Thompson, 2004; Thompson et al., 2004) Primary sources of influence (Risk factors for the development of body image problems and eating pathology) -Peers -Parents -Media Peers and familial influences have been somewhat less studied, and we’re focusing on Parents today.

6 We’re yet to know: - about the nature of the links among and between whole family functioning, parent- adolescent relationships and body image -How and if these links change through time.

7 The Youth Connectedness Project 1. We are examining the links between young girls’ body image (body dissatisfaction) and -Family cohesion; -Relationship with mother; and -Relationship with father 2. Also examined if these links differed by age

8 Measures 1. Body image satisfaction (2 items) -How happy are you with your weight? -How happy are you with your looks? Cronbach’s alpha: Family Cohesion (5 items) -For my family/whanau, spending time together is very important - We can easily think of things to do together as family/whanau - My family/whanau likes to spend free time together - My family/whanau ask each other for help - We like to do things just as a family/whanau Cronbach’s alpha:.89 (Adapted from FACES II)

9 Measures 1. Relationship with parents (2 items each) -How easy is it to talk to your Mother/Father? -How confident are you that your Mother/Father would help if you if you had a problem? Cronbach’s alphas:.75 (Mother);.80 (Father)

10 Sample Who are the participants? 714 young girls who participated in the Youth Connectedness Project (all from New Zealand’s North Island) Two age groups (cohorts) at two times of measurement: Younger cohort n=385 Older cohort n= yrs14-15 yrs yrs15-16 yrs

11 Main Hypotheses 1. Higher levels of family cohesion at Time 1 will be predictive of a more positive body image at Time 2 2. For girls in intact families, a positive relationship with mother AND with father at Time 1 will be predictive of a more positive body image one year later at Time 2 Questions 1. Is positive body image (Time 1) linked to higher levels of family cohesion (Time 2)? 2. Is positive body image (Time 1) linked to more positive relationships with mother and father (Time 2)? 3. Are these links moderated by age, i.e., are they different for our two cohorts?

12 Results Part I Mean differences - between groups - within groups across time

13 Positive body image: Differences between and within groups across time Significant differences: Time: No differences in positive body image across time for each of the groups Age Groups: Younger group > Older group in both Time 1 and Time 2 (to be expected)

14 Significant differences: Time: Time 1 > Time 2 for each of the groups Age Groups: Younger group > Older group in both Time 1 and Time 2 Family cohesion decreases over time

15 Relationship with Mother/Father: Both seem to decrease across time

16 Significant differences: Time: Relationship with Mother: Time 1 > Time 2 for older group Age Groups: R. Mother and R. with Father Younger group > Older group in both Time 1 and Time 2 Parent: R. with Mother always higher in all conditions

17 Results Part II Links between body image and - Family cohesion, - Relationship with mother and relationship with father across time

18 Family cohesion and body image: Younger group Family cohesion Family cohesion Positive body image Positive body image.58**.51**.08* * p ‹.05 ** p ‹.01 Fixed parameter Time 1 Time 2

19 Family cohesion and body image: Older group Family cohesion Family cohesion Positive body image Positive body image.66**.08* * p ‹.05 ** p ‹.01 Fixed parameter.09* Time 1 Time 2

20 Family cohesion (Parents’ reports) Family cohesion (Parents’ reports) Positive body image Positive body image.43**.50** * p ‹.05 ** p ‹.01 Parents’ reports of family cohesion and body image: Younger group Time 1 Time 2

21 Parents’ reports of family cohesion and body image: Older group Family’s cohesion Time 1 Family’s cohesion Time 2 Positive body image Positive body image.43**.67** * p ‹.05 ** p ‹.01.10* Family cohesion (Parents’ reports) Family cohesion (Parents’ reports) Time 1 Time 2

22 In sum, so far… For the younger group, there is a unidirectional effect: positive body image predicts family cohesion For the older group, there is a bidirectional effect: positive body image predicts family cohesion and family cohesion predicts positive body image –This result is supported by analyses conducted with parents’ reports of cohesion

23 Relationship with parents and body image: Both age groups Relationship with Mother Positive body image.50**.54**.57**.72** Model fit (combined model) : Chi-square = (df = 9); p =.264; CFI =.99; RMSEA =.03 * p ‹.05 ** p ‹.01 Fixed parameter Younger Older.45**.60** Relationship with Mother Positive body image Relationship with Father Relationship with Father.14**.15**.20** Time 1 Time 2

24 Unidirectional? Surprisingly, For both age groups, a more positive body image predicted more positive relationships with mother and father but… not the other way around.

25 Making sense of the results: Towards a more complex view… Other evidence… Bastiani et al. (2002) found a longitudinal effect for unhealthy eating on parent-adolescent girls relationships (and not the reverse) Direct vs. indirect influences Familial influences on adolescents’ eating behaviours… Indirect –Perceptions of family relations –Modelling of mother’s behaviours and attitudes Direct –Communication between family members (Byely, Archibald, Graber & Brooks-Gunn, 2000)

26 Conclusions: For younger adolescents a positive body image seems to be a predictor for parent-adolescent and family relationships. Points out its critical and early role. Family cohesion is a predictor for body image in later stages of adolescence, a protective factor? We need more… - Longitudinal research - Attention to factors that might mediate the link between parent-adolescent and family relationships and body image


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