Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
The literature indicates that poor body image is linked to worse academic performance and more depressive symptomatology. There is also a negative impact of depressive symptoms on academic performance found in prior studies. However, no prior study has examined the relationships between body esteem, depression, and academic achievement by gender. Studies have found that girls are at higher risk for developing depressed moods and that girls have greater depression symptoms compared to boys (Petersen et al., 1991; Patil et al., 2018). In addition, girls in general have higher levels of academic achievement and obtain higher grades than boys in high school (Fortin et al., 2013; Marsh et al., 1985). Given the gender differences in these important outcomes, it is crucial to address the potential gender differences in the relationship between body esteem, depression, and academic achievement. To address this lack of knowledge, this study aims to investigate the whether gender differences exist in 1) the relationship between body esteem and academic performance, 2) the relationship between depressive symptoms and academic performance, and 3) the relationship between body esteem and depressive symptoms.