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An exploration of women’s body image: a qualitative analysis of the thoughts, feelings and behaviours surrounding body image in younger and older women.

Burbidge, Chloe (2017) An exploration of women’s body image: a qualitative analysis of the thoughts, feelings and behaviours surrounding body image in younger and older women. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study explores the thoughts, feelings and behaviours surrounding body image in two female focus groups. One focus group was carried out with five people aged 18-25 years referred to as the ‘younger’ group. The other focus group was carried out with five people aged 60-70 years referred to as the ‘older’ group. Data was analysed using thematic analysis, highlighting five main themes for each focus group, some containing sub-themes. Thematically using the comparison method, this study found similarities and contrasts for the two focus groups. Similar themes were social influences, negative thoughts and feelings, dieting and comparisons (to a certain extent). Contrasts outweighed the similarities, the younger group discussed appearance, influences, positive thoughts and feelings, dieting and exercise for health and comparisons to others. The older group discussed the impact of age, influences, dieting for weight loss and comparisons to their younger self, which impacted their body image. The results better our understanding of the similarities and contrasts of female body image in younger and older women, the unexpected findings identify areas which can be explored in future research.

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