This study aimed to prospectively examine the role of time since menarche and sport participation in the development of self-objectification in adolescent girls. Participants were 141 female adolescents (M = 14. 45 years at Time 1) from Adelaide, South Australia, who completed questionnaires at two time points, approximately 1 year apart. Self-report measures of menarcheal status and onset of menarche, time spent on organised sports, self-objectification, body shame and disordered eating were completed at both time points. Time since menarche was not shown to relate to self-objectification. However, correlations and structural equation modelling revealed that amount of sport was negatively related to later self-objectification. That is, time spent playing sport was predictive of lower self-objectification 1 year later. In addition, the model of objectification was confirmed at two time points providing important evidence for the stability of the model during adolescence. The results provide the first empirical evidence for sport as a potential protective factor to the development of self-objectification in adolescence and provide an important practical suggestion for one way in which girls can attempt to alleviate the development of self-objectification and its harmful consequences.
- Pubertal development
- Sport participation