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Empowerment, Feminism and Self-Efficacy: Relationships with Disordered Body Image and Eating

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica Abaigeal Kinsaul (Creator)
Institution
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: http://www.library.appstate.edu/
Advisor
Lisa Curtin

Abstract: Eating disorders are prevalent in the United States, relate to significant psychological and health problems, and primarily affect women. Sociocultural norms pertaining to an ideal of thinness for women are considered central in the development of disordered eating and disturbed body image. On the other hand, adoption of a feministic ideology, empowerment and self-efficacy are thought to have protective value with regards to body image and eating behavior. Undergraduate women (n = 184) enrolled in psychology classes completed selfreport measures of feminism, empowerment, self-efficacy, body image and eating attitudes/behavior. Inconsistent with hypotheses, there was no relationship between feminism and disordered eating. However, as hypothesized, positive perceptions of personal body image related positively with later stages of feminism. Negative body image and disordered eating were associated with lower self-efficacy, and, consistent with hypotheses, self-efficacy predicted disordered eating and body image beyond what was predicted by empowerment. Self-efficacy may serve as a protective factor for college aged women from disordered eating and negative body image, although the present study is limited by reliance on correlational rather than longitudinal data. Increased self-efficacy appears to be a promising treatment target in the context of eating and body image disorder treatment.

Additional Information

Publication
Thesis
Kinsaul, J.A. (2010). Empowerment, Feminism and Self-Efficacy: Relationships with Disordered Body Image and Eating. Unpublished master’s thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010