Background: Self-concept plays an important role in understanding behavioral patterns. The purpose of the present study was to explain Iranian adolescent girls' self-concepts of eating behaviors.
Materials and Methods: In this qualitative study, conventional content analysis was used and participants were selected through purposeful sampling. This study was conducted in the government girls’ schools of Shiraz City, Iran from October 2018 to March 2019. Data were collected through in-depth, semi-structured individual interviews with 42 girl students. Interviews were recorded with the audio recorder and continued until data saturation was achieved so that no new conceptual information was obtained after 35 interviews, while individual interviews were conducted with seven other individuals to ensure data saturation, and no additional conceptual information emerged from the seven interviews. The data were analyzed according to the conventional content analysis approach.
Results: From the analysis of the data, six categories for adolescent girls' self-concepts were drawn including: (1) physical self-concept, (2) social self-concept, (3) academic self-concept, (4) self-satisfaction, (5) self-confidence, and (6) self-esteem. These self-concepts included subcategories of effective eating behaviors on appearance, physical energy status, morals, academic performance, satisfaction and happiness, self-confidence and popularity and respect.
Conclusion: Adolescent girls' self-concepts of eating behaviors encompass a wide range of dimensions such as physical, social, academic, self-satisfaction, self-confidence and self-esteem, and their identification is one of the determinants of the development of intention to adopt healthy eating behaviors.