Prospective Associations Between Childhood Victimization and Body Image in Early Adulthood
Previous research indicates that peer victimization is linked to children’s body image dissatisfaction. The present study investigated whether there is also prospective associations between childhood peer victimization and different dimensions of body image in early adulthood (body-esteem, drive for leanness, drive for muscularity). Participants were 330 Swedish girls/women and 277 boys/men examined first at age 10 and then at age 21. Results indicated that peer victimization had long-term associations with body-esteem that persists into early adulthood. Results also presented a totally new finding, namely a prospective link between childhood victimization and drive for muscularity among young adult males. The findings offer continued support that negative peer relations may have long term involvement in body image development.