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Keywords:

  • peers;
  • body dissatisfaction;
  • eating disorder risk;
  • men

Abstract

Objective:

This study examined the influence of peer context on the relationship between body dissatisfaction and eating pathology in women and men.

Method:

Secondary analyses were conducted using survey data from a large community sample of women and men (N = 2,060).

Results:

The frequency of friend comments on weight and diet moderated the relationship between body dissatisfaction and eating pathology such that more frequent comments strengthened the relationship between body dissatisfaction and eating pathology in women. This effect was not significant in analyses of men. Instead, friend comments were directly related to eating pathology in men.

Discussion:

Both women and men may benefit from peer-led interventions, with the greatest potential benefits for women with high body dissatisfaction, consistent with results from selective peer-led prevention programs in sororities. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)