Sociocultural Pressures, Thin Ideal Internalization, Body Appreciation, & Eating Pathology in Women
Sociocultural appearance pressures (i.e. family, peers, media) are linked to thin ideal internalization and body dissatisfaction, key risk factors for eating disorders in young adult women (Rodgers, McLean, & Paxton, 2015). However, positive body image, specifically body appreciation, has not been explored in the relationship between sociocultural appearance pressures, thin ideal internalization, and eating pathology. The aims of the present study were to examine the structural relations among sociocultural appearance pressures (family, peer, media), thin ideal internalization, body appreciation, and eating pathology, as well as to examine the mediating role of body appreciation in the relationship between thin ideal internalization and eating pathology in a diverse sample of college-aged women. Participants were 272 ethnically diverse women, with ages ranging from 18 to 25 (M = 19.92, SD = 1.82); 39% Hispanic/Latina). Consistent with hypotheses, results indicated that greater appearance pressures directly predicted greater thin ideal internalization and greater eating pathology, with varying relative influence of family, peer, and media appearance pressures on study variables. Additionally, greater body appreciation directly predicted lower eating pathology. Lastly, it was found that greater thin ideal internalization directly and indirectly predicted greater eating pathology. Specifically, body appreciation mediated the relationship between thin ideal internalization and eating pathology. Due to ethnic group mean differences in sociocultural appearance pressures, a model for Latina participants only was tested. Only appearance pressures from family and media predicted study variables. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the role of body appreciation in this context. Study findings highlight the importance of considering positive body image when exploring the mechanisms by which sociocultural appearance pressures influence thin ideal internalization and eating pathology in diverse populations and Latinas, specifically.
School of Behavioral Health
Patricia M. Flynn
Hector M. Betancourt
Sylvia M. Herbozo
Holly E. R. Morrell
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Young Adult; Female; Body Dissatisfaction; Body Image; Ethnicity; Feeding and Eating Disorders; Hispanic or Latino
xi; 60 p.
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.
Bolivar, Gabriela Joanna, "Sociocultural Pressures, Thin Ideal Internalization, Body Appreciation, & Eating Pathology in Women" (2019). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1711.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives