Children's figure ratings: Relationship to self-esteem and negative stereotyping

Marika Tiggemann, Elise Wilson-Barrett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    156 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: Numerous studies have used figure ratings to demonstrate substantially greater body dissatisfaction among women than men. The present study aimed to investigate gender differences in body dissatisfaction in younger children. Method: A children's version of the Figure Rating Scale was administered to 140 children between the ages of 7 and 12 years. Children also completed measures of self-esteem and negative stereotyping of fat people. Results: Irrespective of age, girls rated their ideal figure as smaller than the one they considered most attractive to boys, and as substantially smaller than their current figure. For boys, there was no difference in ratings. Level of body dissatisfaction correlated negatively with self-esteem and positively with negative stereotyping for boys, but not for girls. Discussion: The results are consistent with body dissatisfaction being 'a normative discontent' for young girls as well as for adult women.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-88
    Number of pages6
    JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


    • Figure ratings
    • Self-esteem
    • Young children


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