[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 1966

Body-Image Disturbances in Adolescents: IV. Influence of Family Attitudes and Psychopathology

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;15(1):16-21. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730130018003

BODY-IMAGE, as it emerges in the adolescent, plays a vital role in his adaptations, and studies have shown that the greatest single force in the youngster's concept of his body-image is the attitude of his family. While disturbance in body-image may occur at any age, the adolescent is more vulnerable because of the social pressures and the radical physical changes that take place even in the normal youth.

Body-image may be defined as the "picture of our own body which we form in our minds,"1 "body" being used in its broadest sense.* It is a composite picture, conscious as well as unconscious, and also has a sociological meaning—the way the adolescent sees himself in relation to his family and society. The body-image has two components, as described by Kolb,8 the bodypercept and the body-concept. The individual develops the former through