The impact of teasing on children's body image

Marion Kostanski, Eleonora Gullone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Being teased about one s physical appearance in childhood has been found to have a strong impact on the way in which adolescent and adult women perceive their bodies. Teasing is also strongly related to self-esteem in children. However, little is known about the impact of teasing on the development of body image in childhood. Through a quantitative study of the experience of being teased and body image satisfaction in a group of 431 primary aged children, we examined the prevalence, type and impact of teasing on children s perceived body image satisfaction. The results of our study indicated that many children, especially those who are over or underweight experience being teased. This experience does have a negative impact on children s body image. This is especially significant for young girls and boys who are overweight. Underweight young boys also suffer negatively from this experience. It is important for parents and others to understand that what may be perceived as friendly banter with their children may not necessarily be innocuous. Further research exploring the concept and construct of teasing in childhood is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307 - 319
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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