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Teenagers and Body Image (page 5)

By — NYU Child Study Center
Updated on Dec 8, 2010

Summary

Concerns about body image range from a normal desire to look attractive to a pathological concern with thinness or physical perfection. Today, more than ever, adolescents in America are prone to body image distortions and dissatisfaction. The reasons for this are multiple and include 1) a discrepancy between adolescents' perception of their own physical characteristics and the expectations of their social environment, 2) the influence of the media and cultural expectations, and 3) genetic and biological vulnerability. Adolescents with severe body image distortions are vulnerable to developing serious psychiatric disorders that can have life-threatening consequences. Parents can help by providing guidance and information in a time of uncertainty and serving as role models of individuals who are comfortable with

About the Author

Naomi Weinshenker, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, is the Director of the Young Adult Inpatient Program at Tisch Hospital and on the faculty of the NYU Child Study Center. Her clinical and research interests include Body Dysmorphic Disorder, anxiety disorders and the psychosocial aspects of obesity. She is a frequent contributor to print and television media.

References
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