Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/6544
Much has been debated the recent years about health and healthy living and how people should live their lives in order to maintain bodily and mentally health. It is possible to find courses of diseases increasing in number connected to changed lifestyle, so called lifestyle diseases. Demands regarding looks and appearance have resulted in people seeming more and more to seek recognition from other people which causes looks and appearance to be of more importance now than previously. Body image is the individuals own idea of how he or she senses his or her body.
The aim of the study was to assess the self-image children develop by studying whether external factors such as the media, family and friends can have a negative impact on their body image. Also we sought to find out how they assess their own body figure. The study question is. “What is the body image of the fifth to seventh graders in Norðlingaskóli?”
The study question was put forward in order to examine the body image of this group of age and their view on their own body. We assumed that still younger children were dissatisfied with how their body is build due to media influence and external pressure. The participants of the study were pupils in fifth to seventh grade in Norðlingaskóli, altogether 88 pupils. Only 66 participants were present during the study, of which 41 were female and 25 male.
Our assumption failed to hold and did more than half of the pupils have a positive body image. When the participants were asked whether they wanted to change something regarding their body, 42 participants (64%) answered negatively while 22 participants (33%) answered positively. Then 27 of the participants (41%) were very pleased with their body while 28 of the participants (42%) were pleased to some extent. The children were asked if they were dissatisfied with any specific, listed body part and it appeared that 52% of the participants seemed dissatisfied with one or several body parts. When the pupils were asked if they were keeping up with celebrities lives it appeared that the majority do so to some extent through the media.
The pupils were asked about the actress and singer Lindsey Lohan. The majority or 60 participants (91%) thought of her as healthier in image a due to her being young and in her bloom of life while 5 participants (8%) thought she was healthier in image b where she was slim. It would be desirable if more studies would be undertaking of this age group to make it possible to make comparisons and elaborate upon whether Icelandic children possess a healthy body image. Also it would be interesting to see how big a difference occurs between older and younger individuals.
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