Depressive Symptomatology, Perceptions of Attractiveness, and Body Image in Children


Requests for reprints to: Samuel J. Marwit, PhD, University of Missouri at St Louis, Department of Psychology, 8001 Natural Bridge Road, St Louis, MI 63121-5391, U.S.A.


Abstract— Fifty-seven children, aped 9–12 completed the Children's Depression Inventory, rated their bodies on dimensions of attractiveness, effectiveness and vulnerability, and rated themselves and three other children on global attractiveness. Dysphoria was significantly correlated with both measures of dissatisfaction of own attractiveness. No significant correlations occurred between CDI scores and effectiveness or vulnerability. Stepwise regression showed dysphoria to be predicted by dissatisfaction with the body's attractiveness and by age with the former being the most powerful. No subject differences were found on rating the attractiveness of other children. Results are compared to research with adult subjects.