In the fourth webinar of our Mental Health and Wellbeing series, Associate Dean Wellbeing at Brisbane Girls Grammar School, Dr Jody Forbes and body image, mental health and wellbeing expert Dr Zali Yager will present research into body image in adolescent girls.
The PhD research addresses ‘What works and why we need to act now’ tin relation to poor body image, and the wide ranging impacts thereof on adolescent girls.
Latest evidence on improving body image in adolescent girls (and their mothers): what works and why we need to act now
Body dissatisfaction and body shame are significant issues for adolescent girls, with potentially severe and persistent consequences. How girls feel about their bodies and appearance affects every other mental and physical health behaviour and outcome. Body dissatisfaction predicts depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and leads to reduced physical activity engagement, smoking, cannabis use, high-risk drinking, low self-esteem, suicide ideation, and deliberate self-harm. Further, studies have revealed that girls who feel shame, or judged about their bodies, stay at home from school, have lower engagement in class, and have poorer school performance compared to girls who feel confident about their appearance. There is much that can be done in the physical and social school environment, the curriculum, and in partnership with parents to help reduce feelings of body shame and body dissatisfaction. In this workshop, Jody and Zali will outline the latest evidence-informed opportunities to ensure that girls are not held back by their body image.
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DR ZALI YAGER
Dr Zali Yager is an Honourary Associate Professor, Executive Director of the Body Confident Collective, and consultant in all things body image and wellbeing. After 15 years of research evaluating body image programs in schools and community settings, Zali is on a mission to bring the best, evidence-based body image knowledge and resources to the people who can use them in school, sport, and health care settings. Her latest work alongside Taryn Brumfitt from the Body Image Movement involved advising on the Embrace Kids film, and co-authoring the Embrace Kids book for parents. Zali also struggles with the juggle of her own three children, aged 7, 7 and 9.
DR JODY FORBES
Dr Jody Forbes is the Associate Dean (Wellbeing) at Brisbane Girls Grammar School, where she has worked for the past 18 years. Prior to this, she spent a decade working as a psychologist with Child and Youth Mental Health Services in rural Queensland, Brisbane and the UK. In 2020, Jody was awarded the Brisbane Girls Grammar School Staff Fellowship, during which she researched wellbeing approaches within education. A passionate advocate for adolescent girls, Jody knows that girls learn best when they feel content and connected. Thus she is committed to promoting a holistic education that nourishes character and spirit, as much as minds. Focusing on extending body image interventions from the classroom to the home, her PhD study evaluated the effectiveness of two universal school-based body image programs delivered to Year 8 students and mothers. The research provided valuable insights regarding global dissemination of etiologically based interventions and the real-life reality of how such interventions are utilised by schools.