Volume 1 Supplement 1

Proceedings of the 2013 Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) Conference. Inspiring Change: Person and Context

Open Access

A parent's guide to promoting positive body image in their young children: development of a prevention resource

  • Stephanie R Damiano1Email author,
  • Chelsea Cornell1,
  • Laura Hart1,
  • Fiona Sutherland1 and
  • Susan J Paxton1
Journal of Eating Disorders20131(Suppl 1):O40


Published: 14 November 2013

Body dissatisfaction (BD) and eating disorders (EDs) commonly emerge during adolescence, but foundations for these problems are laid during childhood. Also, some research has demonstrated that BD is increasingly prevalent in younger children. Parents play an important role in fostering positive environments for their children; however, parents need information and skills to facilitate this. This presentation describes the development of a resource to support parents in this task.

First, a literature review identified parental risk factors for child BD and EDs. Second, focus groups with 43 parents of children aged 1 to 6 years and interviews with 11 early childhood professionals highlighted that parents require more information about body image (BI) and the roles they can play in promoting children's positive BI. A concise and evidence-based resource with realistic guidelines in multiple formats was favoured.

Accordingly, a resource has been developed in booklet and website formats, providing parents with information about what influences a child's BI and practical tips to help their child develop positive BI. There are also several parent and child activities, all of which will be described. The resource is being evaluated using a randomised controlled trial with parents of children aged between 2 and 6 years.

This abstract was presented in the Prevention stream of the 2013 ANZAED Conference.

Authors’ Affiliations

School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University


© Damiano et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.