Research has demonstrated that interpersonal weight-related pressures and criticisms are related to body dissatisfaction among college women. Further, research has suggested that romantic partners, in comparison to family and peers, play an increasingly important role in college women’s body dissatisfaction. However, research has been inconsistent on the roles that these sources of interpersonal weight-related pressure and criticism play in college women’s body dissatisfaction. The influence of romantic partners on college women’s body dissatisfaction is important to examine given that college women are developmentally at a time in their lives where issues related to romantic relationships become more salient. Even more, understanding of the influences on college women’s body dissatisfaction and resultant disordered eating is critical so that effective prevention and intervention efforts can be developed. Thus, this study examined the influence of family, peer, romantic partner, media weight-related pressures and criticisms on body dissatisfaction and resultant disordered eating (i.e., dieting and bulimic behaviors) among college women. Participants included undergraduate college women (N = 246) recruited from introductory psychology courses from a mid-sized U.S. Midwestern university. Women completed paper and pencil surveys for course credit. Path analytic results demonstrated that partner and media pressures were related to internalization of the thin ideal, and that family, peer, and media pressures along with internalization of the thin ideal were related to body dissatisfaction. Moreover, body dissatisfaction was related to maladaptive dieting and bulimic behaviors. Prevention and intervention efforts aimed at reducing the impact of various forms of weight-related pressure, especially the media, appear crucial.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 9, 2014
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