Body Dissatisfaction , Need for Social Approval,
and Eatin g Disturban ces Amon g Japan ese an d
American College Wom en
Takayo Mu kai
Fukushim a University
Akiko Kam bar a
Software Research Associates, Inc.
Kom azawa University
A total of 171 Japanese and 144 Am erican college wom en (90% European
Am erican , 4% African Am erican, 4% Asian or Asian American, an d 2%
other) com pleted the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), the Body Dissatisfaction
Su b sc a le of th e Ea ti n g Diso rd e r In ven to ry (E DI), a n d th e Rev ise d
Martin -Larsen Appro val Motivatio n Sc ale (MLAM). Jap an ese wom en
expressed th e greater dissatisfaction with their bod y but no more eatin g
disturban ces than Am erican women. The need for social approval predicted
the Japan ese wom en
s eatin g disturbances after controlling for the effects of
body fatness (BMI) an d body dissatisfaction . BMI was a significan t predictor
of eatin g disturbances for Am erican wom en bu t not for Japan ese wom en. The
resu lts were d iscu ssed in term s of th eir im plic atio n s fo r cross- cu ltu ral
similarities an d differen ces in correlates of disordered eatin g.
Previous research in the United State s have found colle ge women to be
one of the risk groups for eating disorde rs (Drewnowski, Yee, & Krahn,
Sex Roles, Vol. 39, Nos. 9/10, 1998
1998 Plenum Publishing Corporation
This article is based in part on th e se co nd author
s thesis subm itte d to the
University of Tsu kuba, under the supe rvision of the first and third authors. The authors are
grate ful to Hitoshi Kasai and Kalen Wolford for their cooperation in the project.
To whom corre sp on de nce re que sts for reprints shou ld be addre ssed at De partme nt of
E ducational an d Clinica l Psyc hology, Faculty of Education, Fuku shima Unive rsi ty, 2
Sugumichi, Asakawa, Matsukawa, Fukushima, 960- 12, Japan.