Publication Date


Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Virginia Young-Cureton

Second Advisor

Mercy Wey


juvenile obesity, body dissatisfaction, body mass index, perceived actual self image, perceived ideal self image


This study examined the perceptions of actual and ideal body size and how it related to body mass index in 82 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse 9th-graders from an urban high school. The height and weight were measured, and BMI was calculated for each of the 82 participants. Using the Childress Silhouette Scale (CSS), each student self-reported Perceived Actual Self Image (P ASI) and Perceived Ideal Self Image (PISI). The CSS was modified to offer 7 figure drawings that illustrated various examples of underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese. Results showed that 54% ofthe students had a healthy weight, 21% were overweight, and 15% were obese. The students' PASI and PISI showed a small positive correlation. Students with a higher BJv.fl had a greater tendency to choose a higher P ASI and PIS I. The main difference between boys and girls regarding perceived ideal self-image (PISI) was that girls chose an underweight figure whereas boys chose a healthy weight figure.