Western Cultural Identification Explains Variations in the Objectification Model for Eating Pathology Across Australian Caucasians and Asian Women

Charmain Shiyun, Matthew Fuller Tyszkiewwicz, Ranjani Utpala, Victoria Yeung, Tara de Paoli, Stephen Loughnan, Isabel Krug

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: To assess differences in trait objectifying measures and eating pathology between Australian Caucasians and Asian women with high and low levels of acculturation and to see if exposure to objectifying images had an effect on state-objectification. A further aim was to assess using path-analyses whether an extended version of the objectification model, including thin-ideal internalization, differed depending on the level of acculturation.
Method: A total of 424 participants comprising 162 Australian Caucasians and 262 Asians (n=133 with high and n=129 with low levels of acculturation) took part in the current study. Participants were randomly allocated into one of two conditions, presenting either objectifying images of attractive and thin Asian and Caucasian female models (objectification group, n=204), or showing neutral images of objects (e.g. chairs, tables; control group, n=220). Subsequently, participants were asked to complete a series of questionnaires assessing objectification processes and eating pathology.
Results: Findings revealed that the Caucasian group presented with significantly higher internalization and body surveillance scores than either of the two Asian groups and also revealed higher scores on trait-self-objectification than the low-acculturated Asian sample. As regards to the effects of objectifying images on state self-objectification, we found that ratings were higher after exposure to women than to control objects for each of the three acculturation groups. Finally, multi-group analyses revealed that our revised objectification model functioned equally across the Caucasian and the high-acculturated Asian groups, but differed for Caucasians and the low-acculturation Asian group.
Conclusions: Our findings outline that individuals with varying acculturation levels, might respond differently to self-objectification processes. Acculturation should therefore be taken into consideration when working with women from different cultural backgrounds.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Early online date14 Oct 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2016

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • objectification
  • body shame
  • appearance anxiety thin-ideal internalization
  • eating pathology
  • cultural
  • acculturation

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