Body image and appearance perceptions from immigrant adolescents in Canada: An interpretive description Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Body dissatisfaction has been linked to a number of poor health outcomes, including eating disorders. However, very few studies have investigated body dissatisfaction among immigrant adolescents. Using inductive qualitative inquiry, this study recruited a purposeful sample of immigrant adolescents (N=18, 78% female) with an eating disorder (n=8) and without an eating disorder (n=10). All adolescents were between 16 and 19 years of age (M=16.80, SD=0.89) and were recruited from three municipalities in Ontario. Each adolescent participated in a face-to-face, qualitative interview. Content analysis revealed descriptions of body image that were similar across the sample. The main themes emerging from this work include (a) the "moderately slim" and "moderately muscular" ideal, (b) the "slim and curvy paradox," (c) "ideal" privilege, (d) having an "expected" appearance, and (e) wishful comparisons. Findings have implications for reducing appearance-related dissatisfaction among immigrant adolescents in Canada.

publication date

  • September 2015

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