Body image has been associated with self-care and the assumption of either healthy habits or poor diets and eating disorders. As a vital element in the formation of a positive body image, the role of the family in childhood has been highlighted by a few studies. This study aimed to assess whether children’s body dissatisfaction could be predicted by their parents’ body dissatisfaction, body mass index, and approach to change. The sample consisted of 581 participants. The following instruments were used: anthropometric data, the Brief Scale of Body Dissatisfaction for Children, the IMAGE questionnaire, and the Eating Disorder Inventory-2. The results indicated that 19% of children, 22.8% of mothers, and 70.2% of fathers were overweight or obese. The multiple regression models developed for boys and girls explained 60 and 57% of the variance in body dissatisfaction, respectively. Several variables attributable to the mother and to the boys themselves predicted a higher level of body dissatisfaction. For girls, only variables regarding themselves explained their body dissatisfaction. Relationships with the traits of the father were not detected for both models. The influence of sociocultural factors on the construction of gender and the negative consequences of mothers’ dieting for aesthetic purposes, on the development of children’s body image, are discussed.
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DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.650744
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