Effects of parental comments on body dissatisfaction and eating disturbance in young adults: A sociocultural model Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined a sociocultural model of the influence of parental comments on body shape and eating concerns among males and females. Questionnaires were completed by 338 undergraduates. Participants reported levels of perceived parental comments, internalization of media ideals, appearance comparison, body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness and bulimia. Results revealed that, regardless of gender, internalization and appearance comparison only partially mediated the relationship between parental comments and the outcome variables. The final model for females explained a larger proportion of the variability in body shape and eating concerns than in males, with positive and negative parental comments directly related to body dissatisfaction and through it to eating outcomes. In males, only negative comments were directly related to body dissatisfaction. These findings highlight the role of parental influences in sociocultural models of the development of body dissatisfaction and eating concerns, and the gender-specific patterns of sociocultural influence.

publication date

  • June 2009

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