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Men’s reflections on their body image at different life stages: a thematic analysis of interview accounts from middle-aged men

Malik, Mohammed, Grogan, Sarah ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7510-765X, Cole, Jenny ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3054-9438 and Gough, Brendan (2021) Men’s reflections on their body image at different life stages: a thematic analysis of interview accounts from middle-aged men. Journal of Health Psychology, 26 (8). pp. 1222-1232. ISSN 1359-1053

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Abstract

This study investigates how men’s body image develops over time. 14 men aged between 45 and 67 years completed in-depth interviews where they discussed their body image since childhood, prompted in some cases by photographs of themselves at different ages that they brought to the interviews. Transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. From the participants’ accounts it was evident that body concerns did not steadily improve or worsen, but waxed and waned over time. Results are discussed in relation to understanding changing body concerns in men’s lives, and the implications of these for future research and practice.

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