Background: Body dysmorphic disorder encompasses a range of cognitive and
behavioural states stemming from distressing, negative evaluations of one’s appearance. Despite
the seriousness of this condition, little is known about who is likely to receive a diagnosis
and more importantly what the putative risk factors are. This is particularly so among
adolescent samples, where the extant literature is considerably smaller.
Objective: This study had two broad aims: to estimate the prevalence of body dysmorphic
disorder within a young-adult population, and to examine the predictors of body image disturbance.
Methods: Three-hundred and four adolescents (242 females; Mage = 17.68) completed the
Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire and Body Dysmorphic Disorder Questionnaire,
along with measures of clinical psychopathology, self-esteem, experiences of parenting, and
Results: Body dysmorphic disorder was present in 3.9% of the sample, which is in line with
previous estimates among adolescents. More interestingly, results indicated that instances of
high stress, low self-esteem, and reported experiences of bullying were able to predict 48%
of body image dissatisfaction.
Conclusion: Psychological interventions should be directed towards adolescents with body
image concerns, especially if they also report bullying, elevated stress, or diminished selfesteem.
However, additional research is still warranted to gain an increasingly accurate understanding
of the prevalence of body dysmorphic disorder and who is susceptible to developing
this disorder and how we can best serve these individuals in the community.