Children's Body Image Development Study

The Children's Body Image Development Study has seen children from as young as 3 years old interviewed each year to track the development of attitudes and beliefs in relation to body image.

We have had a terrific response from families over the past six years, completing 1840 child interviews, with over 400 children and their parents. We visited children at home or at one of    82 supportive schools across metropolitan Melbourne and regional areas. We received 1753 completed mother questionnaires, 1240 father questionnaires and 230 teacher questionnaires.

The project is coming to an end and we thank you all those involved for their participation!

We have greatly enjoyed your ongoing enthusiasm, curiosity and willingness to allow us into your homes and children’s classrooms.

The information provided will enable us to better understand how children think about, and may be affected by, issues related to body image.

Understanding the development of body image and related concerns in young children is very important, both for the development and implementation of age-appropriate body-related health promotion programs and for making sure that the advice given to parents, schools and child care centres is of the highest quality. The study aims to find out more about the influences of age, gender, body size and the social environment on the body image of pre-school and primary school children.

The study is conducted by the School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University and is being run by Professor Susan Paxton and Professor Eleanor Wertheim. Also on the project team are Ms Karen Gregg, Dr Stephanie Damiano, Ms Monique Alexander, Ms Sara Tran and Ms Siân McLean. The study is supported by an Australian Research Council Grant.


For further information please contact the Children's Body Image Development Study Team: