Appearance in Adulthood

Marika Tiggemann and Julie Slevec

in Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580521
Published online December 2012 | | DOI:
Appearance in Adulthood

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This article reviews the findings from empirical research with adults older than the typical university student. Two major research questions are addressed. First, are there age changes in appearance concern across adulthood? Second, what factors are associated with appearance concern in adulthood? Dissatisfaction with appearance and associated dieting and disordered eating behaviours remain at high levels in women across adulthood. For men, the picture is less clear because there are fewer studies with less appropriate measures. Nevertheless, it does appear that adult men also experience body dissatisfaction. As women (and perhaps men) age, however, they place less emphasis on the importance of physical appearance; it no longer plays such a central role in who they are. This allows a greater acceptance of the age-related changes in appearance that take them ever further from the thin and youthful ideal.

Keywords: appearance psychology; adults; dieting; eating disorder empirical studies; aging

Article.  7888 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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