Minding the Gaps: the Adolescent’s Experience in Front of the Mirror

Eliane Sommerfeld, Moshe Bensimon, Mira Lutzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The relationship of individuals to their image as reflected in the mirror raises a range of thoughts and emotions. Adolescence is a period of rapid change in self- and body image and therefore it may be assumed that the mirror scene may be charged with intense thoughts and emotions about oneself. The aim of this study was to explore what motivates adolescents to approach the mirror and the meaning of this experience. Recalled thoughts and emotions while being in front of a mirror were collected from 30 healthy adolescents to study this phenomenon. Qualitative analysis and coding of interview transcripts were conducted and as a result, three themes were identified: motives for approaching the mirror; adolescents’ experiences of ‘gaps’ and their attempts to cope with them; and processing identity issues. A model that describes the motivation and the meanings of adolescents’ going to and away from the mirror is proposed and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Adolescence
  • Body-image
  • Mirror
  • Qualitative analysis


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