Degree Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

Major

Psychology

First Advisor

Meifen Wei

Abstract

Based on the Tripartite Influence Model, the present study tested a path model describing the development of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among European American (N = 271) and Chinese female college students (N = 260). Using path analysis, indirect and direct effects of sociocultural influences, appearance comparison, and thin-ideal were tested in each sample. A multiple group comparison revealed differences and similarities in these associations between European American and Chinese participants. Specifically, in both samples, appearance comparison and body dissatisfaction were found to mediate between sociocultural influences and disordered eating. Appearance comparison significantly mediated the indirect effect of sociocultural influences on body dissatisfaction only among European Americans, while thin-ideal internalization did not significantly and positively mediate any hypothesized indirect path. Group comparisons between sample means, correlation coefficients, and direct effects were also addressed. In addition, possible moderating effects of conformity to norms and maladaptive perfectionism were examined in order to identify potential moderated mediation effects that are not included in the theory. Conformity to norms was identified as a significant moderator in the association between appearance comparison and body dissatisfaction, and this moderation effect was more salient in China. For low conformity individuals, more appearance comparison was associated with more body dissatisfaction; for high conformity individuals, body dissatisfaction remained high regardless of their level of appearance comparison. Maladaptive perfectionism only had a main effect on body dissatisfaction, and its interaction with thin-ideal internalization was found non-significant in the current study. Contributions, limitations, and suggestions for future research were also discussed.

Copyright Owner

Yi Du

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

104 pages

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