Journal of Social Sciences

Analysis of the Relationship between Physical Self-Concept and Body Image Dissatisfaction in Female Students

Sirus Alipoor, Ali Moazami Goodarzi, Maryam Zarra Nezhad and Lale Zaheri

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2009.60.66

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 5, Issue 1

Pages 60-66


Problem statement: Body image is a psychological construct which refers to self-concept including self image and feelings an individual perceives about his or her body. Body image can significantly affect the way an individual perceives about his or her body. Studies on relationship between physical self-concept and body image in some countries showed that the women's body dissatisfaction has led to increase in eating disorders. The question was raised whether such a relationship may exist in Iran. Approach: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between physical self-concept and body Image dissatisfaction in female. The importance of body image in Iranian culture has, recently, became more significant to the extent that tremendous expenditure of time, effort and money has been paid by people, particularly by women, seeking to alert their appearances to resemble an idea image. A survey of 140 female students selected through random sampling was conducted in Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, southern Iran. To collect data, a questionnaire including Demographic Information form the Physical Self-Perception Profile (PSPP) and Nine Figure Silhouette Scale was used. The physical self-perception profile have five subscales, which were sport competence (SPORT), body attractiveness (BODY), physical condition (CONDITION) and physical strength (STRENGTH) and one subscale that assesses a global perception of overall Physical Self-Worth (PSW). Results: The finding of the research indicated that there is a significant negative correlation between the physical self-concept and body image dissatisfaction. The correlations magnitude ranged between 0.49-0.79 for body image dissatisfaction. Body image dissatisfaction correlated strongest with physical self-worth and with body physical self-concept in female students in Iran. Thinness had the most influential impact on body image dissatisfaction. The findings also showed discrepancy between the ideal and current figures. The participations presented an ideal body that was much thinner than their perceived size. Conclusion/Recommendation: Women most at risk of body dissatisfaction are those who have low self-concept, those who perceive a lack of control over their bodies and those who have internalized the thin ideal. Exposure to particular kinds of television images may influence body satisfaction in females. The content of television images affects body satisfaction and drive for thinness in females. High self-concept, resistance to internalization of the thin ideal and perceptions of body mastery and control predict body satisfaction. Moderate exercise, focusing on body mastery and enjoyment rather than appearance and weight, may also be an effective strategy for improving body satisfaction. Cultural changes and a focus on body function rather than aesthetics would be likely to improve body satisfaction.


© 2009 Sirus Alipoor, Ali Moazami Goodarzi, Maryam Zarra Nezhad and Lale Zaheri. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.