Body image: a life course perspective

Lindsay McLaren and Jane Wardle

in A Life Course Approach to Women's Health

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780192632890
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191723629 | DOI:

Series: Life Course Approach to Adult Health

Body image: a life course perspective

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This chapter integrates existing literature on body dissatisfaction in a way that highlights possible pathways or trajectories that explain variation in body dissatisfaction at midlife. It focuses on three main questions: first, what is the extent or prevalence of body dissatisfaction in women beyond young adulthood, and what trends have there been over time? Second, what are the consequences of body dissatisfaction for health and well-being among older women? Third, what are the determinants of dissatisfaction at different stages of the life span that may be relevant in explaining midlife dissatisfaction? A life course perspective is considered in this third goal, and since this perspective is a new framework for the study of body image, identification of gaps in the literature is inevitable.

Keywords: body size; body dissatisfaction; life span; women; midlife

Chapter.  9716 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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