Keywords: body image, body satisfaction, pubertal development, self-esteem, preadolescence.
This study explores body image and self-esteem in two groups of Italian preadolescents
recruited from North and South of Italy. The research involved 390 preadolescents (195
from the North and 195 from the South), balanced by sex (192 males and 198 females) and by
age (M = 11.87; DS = 0.8) who were given three questionnaires designed to detect their degree
of satisfaction with their bodies and faces, their self-esteem and their level of pubertal development.
The initial results indicate that despite the fact that the absolute value of BMI is significantly
higher in the group from the South, pubertal development starts earlier in the subjects from the
North. Moreover, this development appears connected to an increased dissatisfaction with their
bodies and faces, particularly in the group from the North. Future studies could further explore
this relationship by introducing also socio-cultural variables.