The Effects of Significant Others on Body Image and Body Changes in Adolescents

by Bernice D on October 10, 2012 - 9:54pm

Based on recent studies, the influences of parents, peers, and media on adolescent girls is far higher than the influence on adolescent boys. Particularly the mother has the greatest influence on their daughters’ appearance, eating practices, and their self-esteem. Researchers also show that daughters who are bulimic or have some type of eating disorder are likely to have been compelled or pressured to by their own mothers (Marita P. McCabe, 2003). Although the study showed that boys are not as greatly influenced by their mothers, boys still have to dodge the pressures of society that push for them to be large and muscular.

Girls as well as boys should look to their parental guardians because they are not only a child’s role model, but children tend to follow whatever it is that their parents do. This is mainly due to the fact that as young adults, we are not aware of what is socially acceptable, in response, we believe that whatever our parents do must be acceptable. Unfortunately, the guidance from our significant others is not always right, and may sometimes lead us down the wrong path.


Marita P. McCabe, L. A. (2003). Sociocultural Influences on Body Image and Body Changes Among Adolescent Boys and Girls. The Journal of Social Psychology, 23.