Body weight, self-esteem, and depression in Korean female adolescents

Kim Oksoo, Kim Kyeha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine whether body mass index (BMI) and perception of a body weight problem predict level of self-esteem and depression in Korean female adolescents. The sample consisted of 303 females, ranging in age from 15 to 19 years, who were attending four high schools located in Seoul, Korea. BMI and desired BMI were calculated based on self-reported weight and height. Self-perception of having a weight problem was evaluated by one question: "Do you see yourself as having a weight problem?" Self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and depression was measured using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Based on BMI, 18.2% of the females were underweight, 79.2% were of normal weight, and 2.6% were overweight. Based on desired BMI, 78.5% of the females desired to be underweight. Results showed that perception of a weight problem, but not BMI, contributed significantly to the prediction of level of self-esteem and depression. In addition, there was a significant positive correlation between BMI and perception of a weight problem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-322
Number of pages9
Issue number142
StatePublished - 2001


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