Body dissatisfaction and bullying among underweight schoolchildren in Brazil and Portugal
Keywords:Body satisfaction, Nutritional status, Bullying
Introduction: the body image is constituted by psychic and cultural aspects elaborated by the subject. It results in satisfaction or dissatisfaction, which can be promoted or intensified by peer pressure on ideals of body image.
Objective: to compare the prevalence rates of body dissatisfaction between Brazilians and Portuguese underweight, and to analyze the association of this variable with the social context, nutritional status and participation in bullying situations.
Methods: 720 students from both countries (377 girls; M = 10 years old), from five public schools and three private schools participated in this research. Participants answered the following instruments: Sociodemographic Questionnaire; Body Silhouettes Scale and Bullying Questionnaire. Body mass and height were also measured. The data were analyzed statistically.
Results: in relation to dissatisfaction with thinness, the participants in the private education network presented 0.43 (95% CI = 0.25-0.72) times less likely to manifest this condition when compared to the participants in the public education network. Boys were 1.64 (95% CI = 1.08-2.50) times more likely to present the outcome of dissatisfaction than girls. Among the bully-victim, 3.67 (95% CI = 1.41-9.53) times more chances were observed when compared with those who did not participate in bullying situations. The data revealed that body satisfaction was similar among students from both countries, but differed in some aspects of context. It was found that children and adolescents with low weight also need attention in relation to body dissatisfaction, mainly due to the identification of this variable as a possible risk factor associated with bully-victims.
Conclusion: interventional actions can be subsidized by the results presented to prevent and combat both body dissatisfaction and school bullying.
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