Get access

MEASUREMENT INVARIANCE AND THE ROLE OF BODY CONSCIOUSNESS IN DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS

Authors


  • Fang Fang Chen, Department of Psychology, University of Delaware; Nancy Felipe Russo, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University.
    We thank Samuel Gaertner and Adele Hayes for their comments on an earlier version of the article.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Fang Fang Chen, Department of Psychology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716. E-mail: xiyu@psych.udel.edu

Abstract

The purposes of this article are threefold: (a) to test measurement invariance of the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (OBCS), a central tool for testing objectification theory, across men and women, given that measurement invariance is a prerequisite for gender comparisons; (b) to examine the mediating role of body shame in the link between body surveillance and depressive symptoms for both men and women; and (c) to investigate whether body surveillance and subsequent body shame could explain, at least in part, gender differences in depressive symptoms. Two studies were conducted with two college samples (N = 360 and 278). Results indicate that factor loadings of OBCS differed for the gender groups, revealing that body surveillance and body shame items for women and body control beliefs for men are more closely aligned with their intended latent factors. Our analyses also supported the proposed two mediation models: body shame mediated the relation between body surveillance and depressive symptoms for both gender groups; and body surveillance and related body shame mediated the gender difference in depressive symptoms. Overall our studies highlight that testing measurement invariance can expose differences in scale functioning for men and women, calling into question findings based on the use of those scales.

Ancillary