This study adopted a lifespan approach to women's experiences of appearance concern and body control. Thirty-two women (aged 16 to 77) were interviewed about their exercise and food regulation. Results of the grounded theory analysis challenge social constructions of appearance concern as associated principally with the reproductive years, and of the body as malleable, and highlight the complexity of the relationship between appearance concern and body control. Despite frequent persistence of (or increase in) appearance concern beyond young adulthood, `healthier' responses to appearance concern occurred due to changing priorities and increasing awareness. Findings highlight the utility of an inclusive and qualitative approach, and the absence of simple and sovereign factors determining an individual's levels of appearance concern or body control.
|Journal||Journal of Health Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - May 2004|