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Intrasexual Competition and Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors among Late Adolescent Females

Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
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Academic Editor: Laura L. Hayman
Adolescents 2021, 1(4), 433-441; https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1040033
Received: 28 July 2021 / Revised: 24 September 2021 / Accepted: 8 October 2021 / Published: 13 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Adolescent Health and Mental Health)
The purpose of this study was to test a mediating model whereby competitiveness among females for mates affects body dissatisfaction and dysfunctional diet and exercise through its influence on social comparison and fear of being negatively evaluated by others. The hypothesized model draws from several empirical models, including the sexual competition hypothesis and the tripartite influence model. Approximately 218 female college students completed an online survey. Most participants were heterosexual, White, and between the ages of 19 and 20. The proposed model was tested with MPlus 8.0 using maximum likelihood estimation (MLE). The hypothesized model was a good fit to the data, revealing both direct and indirect paths that were positive and statistically significant. The results suggest that body dissatisfaction may be intensified in environments such as schools wherein peer competition for mates is high and where adolescent females may feel that they cannot successfully compete. They may experience feelings of inadequacy about their bodies, which may result in the adoption of dysfunctional diets, exercise, or other practices that may be unhealthy and potentially life threatening in an effort to change their physical appearance. View Full-Text
Keywords: intrasexual competition; evaluation apprehension; social comparison; body dissatisfaction; unhealthy weight control behaviors intrasexual competition; evaluation apprehension; social comparison; body dissatisfaction; unhealthy weight control behaviors
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MDPI and ACS Style

Boyer, N.A.; Forthun, L.F.; Johns, T.L. Intrasexual Competition and Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors among Late Adolescent Females. Adolescents 2021, 1, 433-441. https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1040033

AMA Style

Boyer NA, Forthun LF, Johns TL. Intrasexual Competition and Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors among Late Adolescent Females. Adolescents. 2021; 1(4):433-441. https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1040033

Chicago/Turabian Style

Boyer, Nicole A., Larry F. Forthun, and Tracy L. Johns 2021. "Intrasexual Competition and Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors among Late Adolescent Females" Adolescents 1, no. 4: 433-441. https://doi.org/10.3390/adolescents1040033

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