Event Title

Parents’ Body Image across Time Predicts Adult Children’s Body Image

Poster Number

096

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

We examined how young adults perceived their parents’ body image during childhood and currently, and also how parental body image and parent-child relationship quality related to young adults’ body image. Participants (n = 108) were young adults with a mean age of 20.40 (SD = 2.66). Fifty-three percent of participants were Caucasian, and 74% were women. Participants responded three times to the Body Appreciation Scale: once from their own perspective, once from the perspective of the participant’s closest parental figure regarding his/her own body while the participant was a child, and once from the same parent’s current perspective on his/her own body. Participants also responded to the Parental Attachment Questionnaire and additional researcher-created questions to assess family exercise levels and critical body attitudes. Results revealed that parents who felt positively about their own bodies had children who felt positively about their bodies. Adult children were influenced by the way their parents viewed their own body when the participants were children, but even more so by how their parents viewed their own bodies currently. Children of parents who were critical of other people’s bodies felt especially vulnerable to their parents, impacting their body image. The quality of relationships between adult children and their parents did not affect the adult children’s body image; however, the quality of parental relationships predicted how parents modeled body image. When parents modeled a healthier body image, their children described the relationship as supportive and affective. Parents’ attitudes about their own bodies can influence their children into young adulthood.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Sleigh

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Apr 12th, 2:15 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Parents’ Body Image across Time Predicts Adult Children’s Body Image

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

We examined how young adults perceived their parents’ body image during childhood and currently, and also how parental body image and parent-child relationship quality related to young adults’ body image. Participants (n = 108) were young adults with a mean age of 20.40 (SD = 2.66). Fifty-three percent of participants were Caucasian, and 74% were women. Participants responded three times to the Body Appreciation Scale: once from their own perspective, once from the perspective of the participant’s closest parental figure regarding his/her own body while the participant was a child, and once from the same parent’s current perspective on his/her own body. Participants also responded to the Parental Attachment Questionnaire and additional researcher-created questions to assess family exercise levels and critical body attitudes. Results revealed that parents who felt positively about their own bodies had children who felt positively about their bodies. Adult children were influenced by the way their parents viewed their own body when the participants were children, but even more so by how their parents viewed their own bodies currently. Children of parents who were critical of other people’s bodies felt especially vulnerable to their parents, impacting their body image. The quality of relationships between adult children and their parents did not affect the adult children’s body image; however, the quality of parental relationships predicted how parents modeled body image. When parents modeled a healthier body image, their children described the relationship as supportive and affective. Parents’ attitudes about their own bodies can influence their children into young adulthood.