Teen Age Boys and Depression
Teen boys who inaccurately perceive themselves as being "too skinny"
are at greater risk for depression, says a new study.
Boys who think they overweight are also at more risk for depression,
although the risk is not as significant as it is for boys who
perceive themselves to be too thin.
Another study published in the same journal also reports that boys
who believe themselves to be underweight and have been subjected to
bullying are more likely to feel depressed and take up steroid use.
According to Dr. Aaron Blashill, who led both studies, these findings
highlight an often underreported problem of body image issues in teen
boys. While girls often respond to body image issues by trying to be
more thin, boys tend to take the opposite approach, attempting to
become more muscular. And they may resort to extreme measures, such
as steroid use, to achieve this goal, Blashill says.
For his research, Blashill used two large, nationally representative
samples of American teenage boys.
The first study included 2,139 boys who were about 16 years old in
1996, when the study began. This sample of boys was followed for 13
The boys in the sample who felt they were underweight, even thought
they were actually at or above average, reported being the most
depressed. These feelings did not change over the course of the