THE IMPACT OF RACE AND ETHNIC IDENTITY ON BODY DISSATISFACTION IN COLLEGE AGE FEMALES
Monica R. Dunn, Bhibha M. Das, FACSM. East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
BACKGROUND: Most of the research conducted on body dissatisfaction (BD) has primarily studied White females and their drive for thinness; this research is limited and less generalizable because it lacks representation of diverse racial populations in the US. Therefore, the purpose of this exploratory study was to assess how race impacts a woman’s body image. METHODS: Female college students between the ages of 18-25 years were recruited to take an online survey. Demographic and body image questionnaires were used. An independent t-test was used to analyze the impact of race on BD. A linear regression model was used to assess the impact of demographic data on BD. RESULTS: Participants (N = 314; 21.81±2.05 years; 33.1% Non-White) had an average BMI of 25.30±6.14 kg/m2. After separating the sample by race (White females versus Non-White females), BD was assessed. BD is scored from 1 to 5 with lower scores indicating higher BD. White females (n=192) scored 3.16 ± 0.71 while Non-White females (n=98) scored 3.19 ± 0.71 (p=.722); thus, there was no significant difference between BD in White versus Non-White females. Race (B=-.23, p<.797) was not shown to significantly influence body image, however, females with a higher BMI had a higher level of BD (B=-.035, p<.001). Additionally, females in which a majority of their friends engage in health/fitness activities had higher levels of BD (B=-.26, p<.01) with an adjusted R-Square of 0.02 (F(4, 285) = 4.88, p<.001).CONCLUSION: BD impacts woman of multiple races, it is specifically elevated in women of higher BMI and women associating with physically active friends. Future research studies should examine qualitative reasons why females who associate with physically active friends have higher levels of BD.
Dunn, MR and Das, FACSM, BM
"THE IMPACT OF RACE AND ETHNIC IDENTITY ON BODY DISSATISFACTION IN COLLEGE AGE FEMALES,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 16:
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol16/iss1/11