Self-perception and body image associations with body mass index among 810-year-old african american girls

Michelle B. Stockton, Jennifer Q. Lanctot, Barbara S. McClanahan, Lisa M. Klesges, Robert C. Klesges, Shiriki Kumanyika, Deborah Sherrill-Mittleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


ObjectivesThe purpose of this study was to examine relationships among body mass index (BMI), self-perceptions, and body image discrepancy in African American (AA) girls.MethodsBaseline self-perception and BMI data were collected by trained staff from 303 preadolescent AA girls participating in the girls health enrichment multi-site studies. Correlations and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify relationships of BMI with self-perception factors.ResultsGirls with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile were more likely to have greater body image discrepancy and participate in weight control behaviors than girls with a BMI below the 85th percentile. Body image discrepancy was not related to self-esteem, but was positively correlated with physical activity self-concept and self-efficacy, and diet self-efficacy.ConclusionGirls with higher BMI had greater body image discrepancy and were less confident in abilities to be active and eat healthy. Findings may inform the development of obesity interventions for preadolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1154
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Adolescents
  • Body image
  • Children
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-esteem.


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