SPANISH JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY, vol.13, no.2, pp.741-750, 2010 (SSCI)
The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not the social physique anxiety level and gender have an influence on psychological characteristics and health related behavior of adolescents. Five hundred and ninety eight female (M(age) = 14.95, SD = .70 years) and three hundred and eighty four male (M(age) = 15.08, SD = .76 years) adolescents voluntarily participated in this study. The Social Physique Anxiety Scale (SPAS), three subscales of the Physical Self-Description Questionnaire, and the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale as indicators of psychological characteristics were administered to all participants. The Eating Attitude Test and Physical Activity Assessment Questionnaire were used to determine health related behavior. It was found that adolescents with high levels of SPA (HSPA) had more unfavourable eating attitudes, higher scores in socially-prescribed perfectionism, negative global physical self-worth and negative body related perceptions than those with low levels of SPA (LSPA). Physical activity levels of adolescents did not differ in the two SPA groups (high/low level). In addition, male adolescents in the present study were more physically active and had favorable eating attitudes and more positive self-perceptions of body fat and general physical self-worth than their female counterparts.