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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-135

Body image dissatisfaction in young Indian Men: Prevalence, psychosocial correlates, and the impact of sociocultural pressure

Department of Psychiatry, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Sikkim Manipal University, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harshavardhan Sampath
Department of Psychiatry, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Sikkim Manipal University, Gangtok, Sikkim
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijsp.ijsp_28_19

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Background: Body image dissatisfaction (BID) is the negative perception of the weight and shape of one's body. It is a prominent risk factor for conditions ranging from eating disorders, body dysmorphic disorder, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders. BID evolves from a complex interaction between psychological (personality, self-esteem), physical (body mass index), and cultural factors (social expectations and media messages). Once restricted to adolescent Caucasian females, BID has been increasing among men in developing Asian cultures. This study aimed to address the scarcity of research on BID and its correlates among young Indian men. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, quantitative, observational, questionnaire-based research design was chosen to address the objectives in a sample of male college students aged 18–25 years. The body shape questionnaire (BSQ-8c), sociocultural attitudes toward appearance questionnaire-4, Rosenberg's self-esteem scale and the mini-International personality item pool (MINI-IPIP) personality scale were used to measure BID, sociocultural pressures, self-esteem, and personality traits, respectively. Results: Of the 511 males, 34.44% (n = 176) had moderate to marked BID. Underweight men had greater BID than those who were obese. However, the differences in BSQ-8c scores across various BMI categories were not statistically significant (Kruskal–Wallis H = 6.07, df = 3, P = 0.108). BID significantly correlated with levels of neuroticism (rs = 0.093, P = 0.0360). Sociocultural pressure from the family, peers, and media significantly correlated with the internalization of thin and muscular body image ideals (all P < 0.001, highly significant). Conclusion: BID is a significant concern among young Indian men, especially those with high levels of neuroticism. This is compounded by the internalization of social pressures from the family, peers, and media.

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