Body image, self-esteem and depression in female adolescent college students

K. S. Latha, Supriya Hegde, S. M. Bhat, P. S.V.N. Sharma, Pooja Rai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to examine whether Body Mass Index (BMI) and the subjective perception of body weight, and body shape satisfaction predict level of self-esteem and depression among female college students. Method: The sample comprised of 124 female college students ranging in age from 16-21 years. Self perception of having a weight problem was evaluated by open-ended questions and Body Shape Questionnaire. In addition, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and General Health Questionnaire-28 was administered. Results: Based on BMI 29.0% were under weight, 67.8% normal and 3.2% over weight. Rating of self-perception of body shape showed that 38.7% felt that they were slim, 27.4% normal and 26.6% as thin. Eighty six percent of the subjects desired to be slim. The perception of weight problem but not BMI contributed significantly to higher scores on GHQ. There was a significant positive correlation between BSQ scores and BMI, age, and weight. Conclusions: Health care providers need to educate female adolescents about normal weight range, proper diet and exercise. In addition, health care providers need to help them attain a realistic, positive perception of their weight in order to prevent depression and lowered self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Indian Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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