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Int J Eat Disord. 2000 Apr;27(3):310-6.

Comparisons of body image dimensions by race/ethnicity and gender in a university population.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19131-1693, USA.



We examined affective and cognitive components of body image related to physical appearance, weight, and health among 120 university men and women of three racial/ethnic groups: African American, European American, and Latino/a American.


Participants completed a Background Information Sheet, the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ), the Body-Esteem Scale (BES) with additional items, and the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding (BIDR). We tested for effects of race/ethnicity and gender on the body image measures while controlling for age, body size, social desirability, and socioeconomic status (SES).


African Americans reported greatest body satisfaction and least overestimation of weight. Latino/a Americans were equal to or higher than European Americans on all indices. Gender differences occurred on global body image, weight concerns, fitness, and health. There were no Gender x Race/Ethnicity interactions.


This pattern of racial/ethnic and gender differences shows a need for exploring a wider range of culturally relevant body image dimensions.

Copyright 2000 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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