Invited Commentary: Why Body Image is Important to Adolescent Development

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Although the majority of adolescents report body dissatisfaction and the consequences of body image concerns are developmentally significant, most research addressing body image has been conducted by clinicians. Developmental scientists are in a unique position to contribute to body image research given their understanding of the intrapersonal (e. g., pubertal development) and interpersonal (e.g., family relationships) factors that affect the development of body image. The adolescent years provide a particularly good example of the developmental nature of body image because a myriad of "normal" developmental factors (e.g., peer relationships) coalesce to shape adolescents' body image. This commentary will summarize some of the significant body image research-focusing on adolescence-in the hope that it will encourage developmental psychologists to recognize the central role body image plays in development and address this topic in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1387-1391
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • Adolescence
  • Body image
  • Developmental psychology


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