Journal article Open Access
Wong, Lee-Min; Say, Yee-How
Aims: This study examined the association of socio-cultural and psychological factors with body shape concern, perception and body weight perception among tertiary students of Northern Malaysia. Study Design: This is a cross-sectional study. Place and Duration of Study: Universiti and Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR and KTAR), Perak campuses, between August 2011 and January 2012. Methodology: A total of 1003 students were recruited (M = 431, F = 572; mean age 19.96 ± 1.51) and their body image perception were assessed using Body Shape Concern Questionnaire, Body Weight Perception Questionnaire, Body Shape Perception Questionnaire (Stunkard Silhouette Chart), Multidimensional Body Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ), Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (RSE) and Quality of Life measurement. Results: More females than males had problems with their body shape, where more females desired a thinner body size and vice versa for males. There was misperception of opposite sex’s perception of attractive body shape, where males chose a larger figure for attractive body shape of female compared to females themselves, and vice versa. Overweight students had significantly lower parental/peer acceptance, higher body shape satisfaction and hence lower body weight/shape anxiety, and made lesser body shape comparison compared to other counterparts. Quality of life and self-esteem were significantly negatively correlated with body satisfaction. Conclusion: Male and female Malaysian tertiary students were concerned with their body shape and perceived their body weight/shape differently.