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.
- Body image
- Body surveillance
- Objectified body consciousness
- Weight/shape concern