This study explored whether multiple dimensions of racial identity and gender moderated the relationship between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem for African American men and women (N = 425) using an intersectional approach. Centrality (strength of identification with racial group), private regard (positive feelings about racial group), public regard (positive feelings others have about racial group), and gender moderated the relationship between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem for a sample of men (n = 109) and women (n = 316) college students from three regions of the United States. Body dissatisfaction was related to lower self-esteem only for those African Americans for whom race was less central to their identities. High private regard and low body dissatisfaction were synergistically associated with higher self-esteem. Similarly, low public regard and high body dissatisfaction were synergistically related to lower self-esteem. There was a positive main effect for assimilation ideology (emphasis on similarities between African Americans and Western society) on self-esteem; however it was not a significant moderator. The relationship between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem was stronger for women than for men. This study extends our knowledge of the ways in which racial attitudes and gender shape how African Americans experience their bodies and are related to self-esteem.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 15, 2011
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