Thesis

Examining the moderating effect of acculturation on the relation between eating disturbances and antifat attitudes in European Americans and Latinas

Antifat attitudes refer to the beliefthat overweight and obese individuals are responsible for their weight. The current study examined differences in antifat attitudes between 264 Latina and European American females from a local high school, junior college, and state college. Results from the hierarchical regression supported hypotheses one and two; that is, when controlling for socioeconomic status (SES), body mass index (BMI), and self-esteem, antifat attitudes were positively correlated with both body dissatisfaction and eating concerns. In support hypothesis three, a Oneway Analysis of Covariance revealed that above SES, BMI, and selfesteem, European American females reported significantly greater antifat attitudes than Latinas. Planned comparisons showed that European American females and high acculturated Latinas reported significantly greater antifat attitudes than both bicultural Latinas and low acculturated Latinas. However, as expected, European Americans and high acculturated Latinas reported similar levels of antifat attitudes. A second regression was conducted to test hypotheses four and five. Results did not confirm that acculturation interacted with either body dissatisfaction or eating concerns in predicting antifat attitudes. Post hoc analyses evidenced a significant interaction between body dissatisfaction and a component of acculturation (i.e. language-use) in predicting antifat attitudes. Interpretations of the current study's results, the importance of continuing to explore the role of acculturation, and directions for future research are discussed in conclusion.

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