Journal article Open Access
Johanna Korte; Elke Grimminger-Seidensticker
Abstract: Body image concerns are reported especially by (pre)adolescent girls. Since standard physical education lessons have rarely been considered as a possible setting for intervention studies, especially for the purpose of increasing body satisfaction, we developed and implemented a theoretically-driven pilot intervention study in physical education lessons for secondary schoolgirls. The aim of the study was to reduce body dissatisfaction in girls and to have the intervention content evaluated by the students. Thirty 12–13-year-old girls took part either in the intervention (n = 12) or control group (n = 18). The results of this study revealed that, as compared to the control group, participation in a 6-week physical education intervention significantly improved post-intervention weight and shape concern scores. Participants in both groups showed positive but non-significant changes in body dissatisfaction, body satisfaction and restrained eating following the trial, but there were no significant between group differences. Two girls from the intervention classes were interviewed after the intervention. They positively emphasised the practical and critical reflection components of the physical education intervention. These preliminary findings suggest that body image interventions in physical education represent important content for (pre)adolescent body-dissatisfied girls. However, the effectiveness of such intervention studies must be further investigated.