An Exploration of Body Image and Psychological Well-Being Among Aging African American and European American Women.

Show simple item record Sabik, Natalie Jane en_US 2012-10-12T15:25:10Z NO_RESTRICTION en_US 2012-10-12T15:25:10Z 2012 en_US 2012 en_US
dc.description.abstract There is a large literature on the association between body image and women’s mental and physical health. However, this work has focused on young women’s appearance concerns. For older women, body concerns may center on age-related changes in both appearance and functioning. In this dissertation, I draw upon theories of aging and body image to theorize predictors and outcomes associated with older women’s body perceptions; this model is tested in three studies using data from two samples of community-based women (African American and European American) aged 65 and older. Study one explored how women rated their satisfaction with particular features of the body, and the importance they attributed to these features. Two subscales were identified —perceptions of bodily function and appearance, and perceptions of cosmetic appearance— and a confirmatory factor analysis showed there were no significant differences in the factor structure between the two ethnic groups. Study two showed that femininity was unrelated to body perceptions for African American women, but moderated the relationship between social comparison and perceptions of bodily satisfaction and appearance for European American women. For European American women, engaging in social comparison was associated with more positive body esteem, while the opposite pattern emerged for the African American women. Study three showed that for both ethnic groups, bodily function and appearance was negatively associated with depression. However, depression was unrelated to perceptions of cosmetic appearance. For European American women, social engagement mediated the relationship between perceptions of bodily function and appearance and depression. Findings suggest that older women are primarily concerned with aspects of the body related to functionality, and significant variations emerged between ethnic groups on the effect of social comparison on body perceptions. More research is needed to examine the effects of functional limitations and age related changes on body perceptions among diverse older women. Body perceptions affect health, psychological well-being, and quality of life, and additional research is needed to better understand the associations between these aspects of life. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Aging en_US
dc.subject Body Image en_US
dc.subject Women en_US
dc.subject Body Satisfaction en_US
dc.subject Depression en_US
dc.title An Exploration of Body Image and Psychological Well-Being Among Aging African American and European American Women. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename PHD en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Psychology and Women's Studies en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Cole, Elizabeth Ruth en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Keller-Cohen, Deborah en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Ward, Lucretia M. en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Smith, Jacqueline Elizabeth en_US
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Psychology en_US
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Social Sciences en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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