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(p. 223) Cultivating Positive Embodiment Through Peer Connections 

(p. 223) Cultivating Positive Embodiment Through Peer Connections
(p. 223) Cultivating Positive Embodiment Through Peer Connections

Nina Mafrici

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date: 22 October 2020

Peers represent important transmitters of weight- and body-related norms and ideals. Although much research exists on peer processes that disrupt girls’ and women’s connection to their bodies, this chapter examines the literature specifically pertaining to protective peer influences that support girls and women in distancing from appearance norms and facilitate enhanced connection with their bodies. In this regard, the chapter reviews three domains of protective influences that exist within the peer environment and contribute to positive body image and embodiment. First are peer norms related to (a) body acceptance, (b) distancing from appearance-based comments and comparisons, and (c) alternative norms fostering resiliency from peer appearance-based pressure. Second are interventions designed to support peer groups in resisting and protecting against teasing and harassment. The final domain is initiatives that facilitate activism and empowerment as positive determinants to social power within peer groups. The chapter concludes with a discussion of implications for clinical and prevention initiatives.

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