Psyhological Abstract

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Title Assessment of Shape and Weight-based Self-Esteem in Adolescents Cockell, S., Geller, J., Srikameswaran, S., Zaitsoff, S. 2001. "Assessment of shape-and weight-based self0esteem in adolescents." International Journal of Eating Disorders. Vol. 29 No. 1.

Author Sarah Cockell, Josie Geller, Suja Srikameswaran, and Shannon Zaitsoff Rationale Weight has been identified as health concern, source of psychological stress, and measure of self-esteem among white females (Attie and Brooks-Gunn, 1987) Previous research (Casper and Offer, 1991) has suggested that white adolescent females are more dissatisfied with their body weight than African-Americans adolescent females. In a study conducted by Desmond, Price, Hallinan and Smith (1989), they reported that African-American adolescent females tend to consider themselves thinner than they actually are, whereas white females tend to consider themselves to be heavier than they actually are. The present study examines and compares African-American adolescent female perceptions of weight and beauty with white adolescent female ideas about weight and beauty.

Purpose The purpose of this study was devoted examining body image ideals and dieting behaviors among African-Americans and White adolescent females.

Methodology Participants Data was drawn from a three-year longitudinal study. Two hundred fifty girls (white, Mexican, and Aisan) were recruited in to the study while they were in the eighth and ninth grade. In the third year of the study forty-six African American girls in grades ninth through twelth were added to the study. Both white and African-American participants were from similar socio-economic backgrounds.

Measures In the present study, focus groups, individual interviews, and surveys were used to assess the participants. The surveys consisted of questions on body image, eating, and dieting behaviors. Questions were derived from the literature and from issues which emerged as salient to this adolescscent population during interviews (Nichter, et al., 1995). Height and weight were measures at the time...