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Stress triggers poor body image

Stress experienced by adolescents may induce feelings of depression and trigger deterioration in self-esteem, says study. That depression may, in turn, contribute to negative feelings regarding their bodies.

health and fitness Updated: Nov 16, 2009 16:28 IST

Body imageStress from a variety of causes can lead to young males and females developing body image problems, a new study has claimed.

An international team has carried out the study and found that the causes of stress are significantly different for males and females, both can contribute to poor body image in both sexes.

The study, led by Kristen Murray of Australian National University, clearly showed that stress is strongly related to dysfunctional body image in adolescents.

However, while the causes of that stress for young women are predominantly related to peer pressure and school attendance, what's playing on the minds of young men are romantic relationships and uncertainty about the future.

For their study, the researchers surveyed more than 500 adolescents in grades 7 to 10 in schools across Canberra.

The research suggests that the stress experienced by adolescents may induce feelings of depression and trigger deteriorations in self-esteem. That depression and low self-esteem may, in turn, contribute to negative feelings regarding their own bodies.