The current study extended prior research examining the impact of acculturation on body satisfaction while integrating possible mediating variables for a sample of Mexican American women. Specifically, the study examined the relationships among acculturation (ARSMA-II), acculturative stress related to racism and immigration (HWSSS), objectified body consciousness (OBCS), SES, age, BMI, and body dissatisfaction. Outcome measures of body dissatisfaction included the EDI subscales of Body Dissatisfaction, Bulimia, Drive for Thinness, and Ineffectiveness, as well as the Body Esteem Scale (BES). Participants were 352 women of Mexican descent between the ages of 18 and 50 years recruited through California State University, San Bernardino and in the community. Using SEM, fit indices indicated model fit was moderate with model modifications. Results supported the hypothesis that a significant indirect relationship exists between acculturation and body dissatisfaction, which is accounted for by the intermediating variables in the model. Greater acculturation was associated with less acculturative stress, but increased objectified body consciousness. Increasing objectified body consciousness was directly associated with higher body dissatisfaction while acculturative stress was not directly associated with body dissatisfaction. BMI, age, and SES were found to be significant variables that need to be accounted for when examining other influences on body dissatisfaction. Shedding light on the unique factors that trigger body dissatisfaction for Latinas allows for the development of culturally sensitive interventions for related outcomes such as eating disorders. Findings indicate changes through acculturation plays a lesser role in body dissatisfaction for Mexican American women than whether they internalize societal standards. Post-hoc analyses indicated that increased acculturative stress is related to increased objectified body consciousness and endorsement of a greater Mexican orientation is associated with lower body dissatisfaction. Implications of the study include the importance of assisting Latinas in maintaining a positive connection to their culture of origin and in critically evaluating mainstream body ideals as the internalization of these ideals is significantly associated with body dissatisfaction. A further implication is the importance of assessing Latina women's acculturation levels and experiences of acculturative stressors such as racism in terms of shaping their attitudes toward their bodies and the development of disordered eating.
School of Science and Technology
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Mexican American women; Body image; Self Concept; Hispanic Americans; Acculturation
Subject - Local
Body objectification, Body satisfaction
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Snyder, Melissa Y., "Cultural and Personal Influences on Body Satisfaction in Mexican American Women" (2011). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. Paper 63.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives