Award Date

8-1-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Cortney S. Warren

Second Committee Member

Jennifer L. Rennels

Third Committee Member

Jason M. Holland

Fourth Committee Member

Mark H. Ashcraft

Fifth Committee Member

Barb Brents

Number of Pages

113

Abstract

To date, sociocultural risk factors for eating disorder development in Latina women are poorly understood. Objectification theory provides a useful framework for understanding how sociocultural and intrapsychic variables influence eating pathology in women. However, few studies apply an objectification theory framework to the study of disordered eating in Latina women and even fewer studies examine the influence of culture-specific variables, such as acculturative stress and marianismo beliefs. Consequently, to address limitations in extant research, the present study applied the tenets of objectification theory to the study of eating pathology in Latina women using a culture-specific model. Specifically, this study investigated the relationships among interpersonal objectification, sociocultural pressures to be thin, acculturative stress, marianismo beliefs, thin-ideal internalization, body surveillance, body shame, appearance anxiety, and disordered eating in a sample of 293 Latina college students using path analysis. Path analysis indicated that the proposed theoretical model provided a poor fit to the data. However, mediation analyses supported components of the proposed model. Specifically, media pressures contributed to increased body surveillance through thin-ideal internalization; and body surveillance contributed to increased eating pathology through body shame and appearance anxiety. Additionally, moderator analyses indicated that women who were high in acculturative stress reported higher levels of media pressures to be thin and thin-ideal internalization than women low in acculturative stress. Results suggest that objectification theory may, in part, explain eating pathology development in Latina women. However, future researchers may need to adjust this framework to better understand eating disorder development in Latina women.

Keywords

body image; eating pathology; Latinas; objectification theory

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology

Language

English


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