The effects of peer ridicule on depression and self-image among adolescent females with Turner syndrome

Vaughn I. Rickert, Susan J. Hassed, Amy E. Hendon, Christopher Cunniff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This study attempted to examine the effects of body image, height dissatisfaction, and peer ridicule on depression and self-image among adolescent females with Turner syndrome. Methods: A prospective, cross- sectional survey examined 59 subjects' responses to standardized measures of depression, self-image, body image, height perception, and teasing. Results: Descriptive statistics found the mean age of subjects to be 14.8 years (range: 13-19). Approximately 30% reported cardiac defects and 17% indicated kidney anomalies. Only five experienced spontaneous menses and 61% indicated they were receiving estrogen replacement therapy. Linear regression analyses examined the effects of body image, height perceptions, and peer ridicule on depression and self-image scores. The first regression analysis found a five- step model to account for 39% of the variance, with peer ridicule of general appearance being the most important variable. The second linear regression (R2 = .3248, P < .0004) also found peer teasing of general appearance to be significantly associated with self-image scores. Discrepancy scores between ideal versus current body shape or height, as well as teasing about these issues, appeared to be unrelated to depression and self-image among our subjects. Conclusion: These data suggest that peer ridicule is a domain that requires ongoing assessment by health care providers, as it appears to be an important contributor to mental health problems. Social skill interventions that emphasize strategies to manage teasing, assertively respond to negative statements, and teach effective coping skills are key variables to minimize the emotional discomfort these young women may experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-38
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1996

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Depression
  • Mental health
  • Peer ridicule
  • Self- image
  • Turner syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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