Article

School-Based Interventions to Promote Positive Body Image and The Acceptance of Diversity in Appearance

Phillippa C. Diedrichs and Emma Halliwell

in Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Appearance

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199580521
Published online December 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199580521.013.0038
School-Based Interventions to Promote Positive Body Image and The Acceptance of Diversity in Appearance

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The school setting provides a valuable opportunity to engage young people in interventions that aim to address appearance-related concerns and to promote greater acceptance of diversity in appearance. However, school-based interventions present a number of challenges, particularly in relation to the diverse nature of young people's body image concerns and attitudes. To date, the focus of school-based interventions has tended to be the prevention of negative body image and eating disorders, and encouraging students to be accepting of different body shapes and sizes. This article begins with an overview of this research, including an examination of the main theoretical orientations and content utilized in negative body image and eating disorder prevention programmes. It also reviews the intervention (e.g., programme content and length) and participant factors (e.g., age, gender, and risk status) that have been found to influence programme success. The second section of the article explores interventions that have addressed visible difference in the school setting. This includes a discussion of past and current interventions that have attempted to promote positive attitudes towards people with visible difference among school students, and those that have focused on helping young people with visible difference feel comfortable and well-adjusted in the school setting.

Keywords: school-based interventions; body image; eating disorder prevention; visible difference

Article.  8471 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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