Program

May 11, 2009

OVERVIEW

Everybody’s Different is a program designed
for secondary school students to improve their body image and self-esteem.
Students participate in teacher-led lessons on self-esteem, communication
skills, stereotypes, and relationship skills. In this evaluation, relative to
students in the control group, the experimental group students showed
significant declines in body dissatisfaction, importance of social acceptance,
and increases in perceived physical appearance.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population:
Everybody’s Different was designed to improve
body image through improvement of self-esteem. The program is designed for
secondary school classes. In the program, students take part in nine weekly
50-80 minute lessons on dealing with stress, positive self esteem, stereotypes,
relationship skills, and communication skills. Students also have home-based
activities and are encouraged to discuss the lessons with people in and out of
school. The lessons take place in the school and are led by the students’
normal teacher.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Sanford, M.,
Byrne, C., Williams, S., Atley, S., Ridley, T., Miller, J., & Allin, H. (2003).
A pilot study of a parent-education group for families affected by depression.
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 48(2), 78-86.

Evaluated population:
470 7th and 8th grade
students from two schools in Australia participated in the study. Students were
aged 11 to 14 years and 63 percent were female.

Approach:
The students were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. Students
were assessed at baseline, after the intervention, and 12 months after baseline
on their eating disorder attitudes, perceived physical appearance, perception of
how others perceive their physical appearance, physical changes, self-concept,
and weight loss behaviors.

Results: At
post-test, intervention students had significantly greater declines in body
dissatisfaction when compared with control group students; however, impacts were
not sustained at the 12-month follow-up. There were no significant differences
on drive for thinness and body awareness.

Intervention group
students noted their perceptions of how their father would assess their physical
appearance more positively when compared with the control group at post-test,
but this did not remain significant at the 12-month follow-up. Among females in
the intervention group; however, there were significant differences on the self,
mother, and father physical appearance scores when compared with control group
females. Also, for females, father physical appearance score remained
significant at the 12-month follow-up.

There were
significant differences between normal weight intervention and control group
females on standard body weight. There were no significant differences between
the groups on measures of height, weight, or puberty status.

Intervention
students reported a significant decrease in importance of social acceptance
compared with control group students, and this remained at the 12-month
follow-up. Intervention students outside of the range of normal standard body
weight had a significant decrease in importance of athletic competence when
compared with the control students. This impact remained at the 12-month
follow-up. Intervention students also reported a significant decrease in the
importance of physical appearance at the 12-month follow-up compared with the
control group.

There were no
significant differences between the groups on weight loss behaviors at post-test
and follow-up.

Subgroup analyses
were also collected. Among 116 high-risk (low self-esteem and high Trait
Anxiety) students, the intervention had impacts on a number of measures. The
program improved at body dissatisfaction scores for this group at significantly
post-test and follow-up compared with high-risk control students. The father
subscale of the physical appearance measure increased significantly for
high-risk intervention students compared with high-risk control students at
post-test, but none of the other subscales were significant. At pos-test there
were significant decreases in the importance of social acceptance and physical
appearance for the high-risk intervention students compared with the high-risk
control students at post-test, but not at 12 months. There were significant
increases in the importance of a close friendship at 12 months for the high-risk
intervention group when compared with the high-risk control group.

There were no
significant impacts on students’ anxiety and depression.

Analyses did not
adjust for random assignment by classroom

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program manual
available for $59.95 at

http://shop.acer.edu.au/acer-shop/product/A1060BK

Contact
information:

Dr. J. O’Dea

Faculty of
Education

University of
Sydney

Building A35

NSW 2006, Australia


odeaj@edfac.usyd.edu.au

References:

O’Dea, J. A., &
Abraham, S. (1999). Improving the body image, eating attitudes, and behaviors of
young male and female adolscents: A new educational approach that focuses on
self-esteem. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 28, 43-57.

KEYWORDS:
Adolescence (12-17), School-Based, Children (3-11),
School Engagement, Social/Emotional Health, Physical
Health, Eating Disorders, Middle School, Nutrition, Obesity, Cost Information is Available.

Program
information last updated 5/11/09