Weight Concern and Body Image Dissatisfaction among Hispanic and African American Women

Abstract

Weight concern and body image dissatisfaction continue to be understudied among African American and Hispanic women. To address the gap in the extant literature, this study examined a sample of Hispanic and African American women (N = 477, Meanage = 43.7 years) and explored (a) differences in weight concern and body image dissatisfaction; (b) the contribution of perceived weight status and body image dissatisfaction to weight concern; and (c) the extent to which the association between body image dissatisfaction and weight concern was moderated by ethnicity. Participants completed a health survey and a figure rating scale. The findings indicated that Hispanic women compared to African American women endorsed smaller silhouettes as an ideal body size (χ2(7, n = 436) = 22.36, p = 0.002, Cramer’s V = 0.23). More Hispanic women (77%) than African American women (62%) had a discrepancy between their perceived actual and ideal body size. The relationship between body image dissatisfaction and weight concern varied by ethnicity. That is, the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and weight concern was statistically significant among African American women (β = 0.21, p = 0.008) but was insignificant among Hispanic women (β = 0.11, p = 0.135). This study has implications regarding the identification of risk factors associated with weight concern.

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Citation
Women 3 (4): 486-496 (2023)