College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Accuracy of Weight Perception among Young Adolescent Girls: An Examination of Personal and Interpersonal Correlates

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1985

Keywords

Weight Perception, Adolescent, Female, Self Concept, Sociometric Techniques

Publication Title

Journal of Early Adolescence

ISSN

0272-4316

Volume

5

Issue/No.

2

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the personal and interpersonal characteristics of young adolescent females who accurately and inaccurately perceived their weight. Ninety-nine sixth and seventh graders served as subjects.-Three observers rated each subject as under, average, or over weight. Each subject rated herself as being under, average, or over weight. In addition, the adolescents completed a depression measure and a self-concept measure. Sociometric measures and teacher ratings of popularity also were completed. A discrepancy score between observer and adolescent rating of weight was then calculated and subjects were placed into one of three categories: Underestimate, accurate estimate, and overestimate judgment groups. The results indicated that approximately one-half of the sample accurately estimated their weight as there were 49 accurate estimates, 18 overestimates, and 32 underestimates. Furthermore, relative to accurate estimation, inaccurate weight estimation was associated with personal maladjustment (depression and poor self-concept) but not interpersonal difficulties (popularity). The underestimate and overestimate groups did not differ from one another on any of the dependent measures. Implications of the results for nonclinic and clinic populations are discussed.

DOI

10.1177/0272431685052007