Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Fall 9-26-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Salina Renninger


Body dissatisfaction is defined as the negative subjective evaluation of one’s physical body. The existing research on body dissatisfaction in Asian American women is far less in-depth and conclusive than that on White women, who epitomize ideal beauty standards in the United States. Women from different racial and ethnic backgrounds in the United States may undergo additional sources of sociocultural stress including discrimination, racism, and acculturation that can contribute to and exacerbate experiences of body dissatisfaction. There are clinical implications of potentially great consequence, as body dissatisfaction has been found to be a risk factor for a myriad of physical and mental health concerns, including disordered eating and depression. The current study hypothesizes that levels of body dissatisfaction among Asian American women will vary based on differences in racial identity, ethnic identity, and adherence to Asian cultural values. In the current study, 149 Asian and Asian American women completed an online survey related to their experiences of body dissatisfaction, racial identity, ethnic identity, and Asian cultural values. Contrary to hypotheses, body dissatisfaction did not vary based on racial identity, and no significant relationships existed between body dissatisfaction, and strength of endorsement of ethnic identity or adherence to Asian cultural values. Additional analyses conducted demonstrated statistically significant differences in ethnic identity and adherence to Asian cultural values based on racial identity. These findings suggest that Asian American women’s body dissatisfaction is not directly related to racial identity, ethnic identity, or adherence to Asian cultural values. However, as limitations of racial and ethnic identity measurement exist in the current study, such findings and resultant implications must be interpreted and made with caution. Future research may explore potential mediating or moderating variables that may indirectly relate to Asian American women’s body dissatisfaction.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.