Downward spirals of body surveillance and weight/shape concern among African American and Caucasian college women

Ellen E. Fitzsimmons, Anna M. Bardone-Cone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Within dominant American culture, females often learn to view themselves from an observer's perspective and to treat themselves as objects to be looked at (i.e., self-objectification), which can result in negative outcomes. Body surveillance (the indicator of self-objectification) has been found to predict concern with weight/shape in predominantly Caucasian samples, but research has not yet examined the potential reciprocal relations between body surveillance and weight/shape concern. Participants were 226 women attending a Midwestern university (70 self-identified as African American and 156 as Caucasian) who provided data at two time points, spaced about 5 months apart. Results revealed that downward spirals of body surveillance and weight/shape concern were apparent for the Caucasian but not the African American women. However, there was evidence that body surveillance helped account for change in weight/shape concern for the African American women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Body image
  • Body surveillance
  • Objectified body consciousness
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Self-objectification
  • Weight/shape concern

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