Does culture moderate the relationship between awareness and internalization of Western ideals and the development of body dissatisfaction in women?
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The sociocultural model of eating disorders suggests that awareness of a thin physical ideal directly affects internalization of that ideal, which in turn, directly affects body dissatisfaction. The current study evaluated the general accuracy of the sociocultural model and examined the potential for ethnicity to protect against eating disorder symptomatology by moderating the relationships between awareness and internalization and between internalization and body dissatisfaction. Spanish (n = 100), Mexican American (n = 100), and Euro-American (n = 100) female participants completed various questionnaires measuring sociocultural attitudes towards appearance and body dissatisfaction. Analysis of covariance with tests of homogeneity of slope and path analysis using maximum likelihood with robust standard errors tested the two relationships by ethnic group. Results supported the sociocultural model: there was strong evidence for the mediational effect of internalization on the relationship between awareness and body dissatisfaction. Furthermore, ethnicity moderated the relationships such that both relationships were significantly stronger for Euro-American women than for Mexican American or Spanish women. Within the Mexican American group level of acculturation also moderated these relationships. Taken together, the results of this study highlight how ethnicity can protect against the development of eating disorder symptoms. Denouncing the thin ideal, minimizing appearance as an indicator of female value, and emphasizing personal traits other than appearance as determinants of worth are important in protecting against the development of body dissatisfaction and more severe eating pathology.
SubjectSociocultural model of eating disorders
Warren, Cortney Soderlind (2003). Does culture moderate the relationship between awareness and internalization of Western ideals and the development of body dissatisfaction in women?. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from