Assessment of the Body Shape Concern: A Challenge

Wanderson Roberto Silva, Juliana Chioda Ribeiro Dias, Filipa Pimenta, Juliana Alvares Duarte Bonini Campos


Aim: Through literature review, to present a theoretical approach on the “body image” highlighting the “body shape concern” and the psychometric properties of the Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ). Method: Bibliographic survey of the studies published between 1987 and 2012 that were fully available in the Pubmed, Bireme and Scielo databases. The search and selection of the papers was made between January and March 2013. Results: Initially, 95 papers were reviewed, however, only 40 papers and one book were included in this study. Some studies evaluated individuals’ body shape concern and subsequently reported that measured the body image concern, however, the body shape concern is just an aspect of body image. There are significant differences between genders regarding body concerns and these should be considered when choosing an instrument. There are several instruments to evaluate different aspects related to body image. The BSQ is the most used instrument to assess individuals’ body shape concern. The psychometric properties of BSQ are not consensual in the literature when applied to different samples. The need of further studies is suggested in an attempt to get a more stable factorial structure of the BSQ. Conclusion: This study aimed to alert professionals to the importance of analyzing the theoretical concept related to the different aspects that compose the construct of body image, considering the individuals’ gender and the psychometric properties of the measuring instruments.


body image; form perception; validation studies; questionnaires