EVALUATION OF A STRUCTURAL MODEL OF OBJECTIFICATION THEORY AND EATING DISORDER SYMPTOMATOLOGY AMONG EUROPEAN AMERICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN UNDERGRADUATE WOMEN

Authors


  • Karen S. Mitchell, Department of Psychology and the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Virginia Commonwealth University; Suzanne E. Mazzeo, Departments of Psychology and Pediatrics, Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • This research was supported by NIH Grants MH-20030 (Mitchell; PI: Neale) and MH-068520 (PI: Mazzeo). We thank Drs. Larry Williams, Faye Belgrave, Shawn Utsey, and Kathleen Ingram for their comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Suzanne E. Mazzeo, Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 806 W. Franklin St., P.O. Box 842018, Richmond, VA 23284-2018. E-mail: semazzeo@vcu.edu

Abstract

This study evaluated a structural equation model of objectification theory among European American (EA; n = 408) and African American women (AA; n = 233). Modeling results indicated a particularly strong association between thin-ideal internalization/body monitoring and eating disorder symptoms, with weaker relationships among body dissatisfaction, depression, anxiety, and eating disorder symptoms. The measurement model was not equivalent for EAs and AAs; however, the structural model was invariant, suggesting that the relationships among these variables may be similar for both groups. Thus, objectification theory does appear to be applicable to AA women, although specification of relevant constructs and refinement of assessment instruments is warranted.

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