Irene Golbeck

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

King, Sondra L.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Children--Nutrition; Self-perception in children; Exercise for children


Self-perceptions, dietary habits and exercise patterns were observed in a group of 75 female and 40 male preadolescents. Subjects were selected from a middle class junior high school and a private gymnastics academy. Children were compared according to sex, Body Hass Index (BMI) and level of activity involvement. The subjects reported concern with their body size regardless of actual weight levels. Responses show that 64% of the girls and 37.5% of the boys wanted to look thinner. In addition, 51* of the subjects had attempted some type of reducing plan. When divided into weight categories, per BMI, it was found that 39* of the underweight, 61% of average weight, and 87% of overweight subjects had tried to reduce. The majority of reducing plans (75%) were self-initiated. Higher levels of physical activity were not associated with an increased desire to reduce. Desire for thinness occurred across all activity levels. Results of this study suggest that the onset of dieting and shape concerns are prevalent among preadolescents, regardless of actual size.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [40]-42)


53 pages




Northern Illinois University

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