An assessment of body image and self-esteem among middle-aged women

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Research on midlife women provided evidence of negative perceptions of and reactions to aging and its accompanying physiological and emotional changes. Previous investigations revealed a plethora of information about midlife physiological changes, but provided little other information pertinent to understanding perceptions of body image among middle-aged women. The purpose of this study was to examine a neglected population, middle-aged women, using an in-depth concept of body image.

Interviews were conducted with 40 randomly selected middle-aged women ranging in age from 35-55 years. The body image survey consisted of instruments to assess the following concepts: physiological changes; body appearance; dissatisfactions and satisfactions about health, fitness, and physical appearance; others' appraisals of health, fitness, and physical appearance; and self-esteem. The conclusive finding from the multiple regression analysis was that there were no significant relationships between body image and self-esteem among middle-aged women.