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Journal of the Korean Academy of Family Medicine 1997;18(6):622-631.
Published online June 1, 1997.
Weight in children's minds: body shape dissatisfactions for 12-year old children.
Bong Yul Huh, Jin A Park, Seong Won Kim, Yeum Seung Yang, Jeung In Han, Hwan Sik Hwang
초등학교 6학년 어린이들의 체형에 대한 만족도
허봉렬, 박진아, 김성원, 양염승, 한정인, 황환식
서울대학교병원 가정의학과, 인제의대 상계백병원 가정의학과, 제주의료원 가정의학과
: Diet and weight concerns are commonplace and almost accepted features of life for girls during adolescence. Until recently, younger age groups have largely been ignored, as these concerns were thought to be a product of pubertal development and sexual maturity. Girls under the age of fifteen therefore, have been assumed to be free of the pressures experienced by adult women. However, this belief is now hard to sustain. The object of the present study was to investigate the self-perception and body shape satisfaction in different weight categories of boys and girls aged 12-years old in Korea.

Methods : In May, 1995, one hundred and sixty seven boys and one hundred and twenty girls from two schools in Seoul completed assessments of body-esteem, self-esteem, body shape preference. The children's body weight and height were also measured.

Results : The heaviest children expressed the most discontent, having a low body-esteem, a desire for thinness. By the age of 12, girls boys already differ in their body shape satisfaction and differ in their body shape satisfaction and differ in their body shape aspirations. There was a significant effect of weight category on the children's body esteem(boys(P=.005), girls(P=.0001). Children in both extreme categories, under-and over-weight, had lower body-es-teem scores than those in other weight categories. However, it was the overweight children who had the lowest reported body-esteem. Body esteem was highest among girls in the 'slightly underweight' category and highest among boys on the 'average weight' category. There was no effects of either weight category or gender on the children's appraisal of self-esteem. A comparison of the points chosen on the silhouestte scales to reflect current and preferred body shapes revealed clear gender differences. Of the girls, 63% placed their preferred body shape at a point thinner than their currently perceived shape, while only 15% chose a broader figure. In contrast, 41% of the boys rated their preferred figure as broader than their current perception, and 37% as thinner than their current perception.

Conclusion : This study has noted a relationship between body weight and self-perception in 12-year old children. The heaviest children expressed low body-esteem, a desire for thinness. This pattern was more characteristic of girls than boys. Even at this age, well before they have completed physical maturation, girls are aspiring to a body shape which is thinner than their average. This discontent experienced by the heaviest. children on this sample was apparent in their lower body-esteem and the distance between their current and preferred body shapes. The girls' preference was for thinness, while in the boys it was for a body shape which was broader than their current shape. From their responses, it would appear that the boys' desire was not for fatness, but for a more athletic and muscular build.
연구배경 : 사춘기 소녀들이 자신의 체중을 인식하고 체중 조절을 위해 식이요법을 한다는 사실은 많은 연구로 잘 알려져 있다. 또한 최근 외국의 여러 연구에 의하면, 체중에 대한 어떠한 압박감도 가지지 않을 것이라고 생각했던 사춘기 이전의 어린 연령에서도 체중을 인식하고 이를 조절하고자 하는 의지와 시도들이 있음이 밝혀지고 있다. 본 연구에서는 사회문화적 환경이 다른 우리나라 어린이들이 자신의 체형에 대해 과연 어떻게 생각하고 있는지, 그리고 얼마나 만족하고 있는지를 알아보고자 한다.

방법 : 1995년 5월에 서울시의 2개 초등학교 6학년 학생들을 대상으로 설문지 조사를 시행하였다. 체중, 키, 체질량지수(BMI)를 측정하고, 체형존중감(body-esteem)은 Mendelson등이 개발한 24문항 체형 긍정도 척도(body-esteem scale)를 이용하여 측정하였고, 자기존중감(self-esteem)은 Coopersmith 등이 개발한 자기긍정도 척도(Self-Esteem Inventory)를 이용하여 측정하였다. 선호하는 체형과 현재 체형의 차이를 이용하여 체형에 대한 만족도를 조사하였다. 남녀 학생을 각각 체질량지수에 따라 1군 가장 마른 군, 2군 약간 마른 군, 3군 평균 체중군, 4군 약간 비만한 군, 5군 가장 비만한 군 등의 5군으로 나누었다.

결과 : 남학생 167명과 여학생 121명을 대상으로 하였고 평균 연령은 11.9세이었다. 체중군에 따라 어린이들의 체형존중감(body-esteem)은 남녀학생 모두에서 과체중군에서 가장 낮은 점수를 보였다(남 P=.005, 여 P=0.001). 여학생은 약간 마른 편 군에서, 남학생은 평균체중군에서 가장 높은 점수를 보였다. 그러나 어린이들의 자기존중감(self-esteem)에는 체중에 따라서나 성별에 따라서나 유의한 차이를 발견할 수 없었다. 남학생들은 5군중 세 군에서 보다 살찌기를 원하는 반면, 여학생들은 5군 중 세군에서 보다 마르기를 원하였다.

결론 : 여자 어린이들은 보다 마르기를 선호하는 반면, 남자 어린이들은 보다 살찌기를 희망했는데, 남자 어린이들이 살찌기를 희망했다기보다는 보다 건강하고 근육질이기를 희망한 것으로 보인다.
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