Normative body image distortion and dissatisfaction among black African and white female university students.
Bevis, Jayde Lynne.
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Research in South Africa remains somewhat limited with regard to eating disorders across race groups. This study aimed to examine whether there were any statistically significant differences between both body image distortion and body image satisfaction between black African and white female university students. The Image-Marking Procedure and the Movable Caliper Technique were used to assess whether participants distorted certain body dimensions (shoulders, waist, hips, and thighs). The Body Cathexis Scale was used to assess and compare body dissatisfaction between the two race groups. The assessments were conducted with a non-probability convenience sample of 20 white and 20 black African female university students. No statistically significant difference was found regarding overall body image distortion between the race groups. This finding was replicated for each of the body dimensions measured. There were also no statistically significant differences found regarding body image dissatisfaction between the two race groups. This study concluded that there was no statistically significant difference between both distortion and dissatisfaction components of body image of both black African and white female university students. The implications of the findings are discussed, challenging the notion that eating disorders, and aspects of eating disorders, are a Western cultural phenomenon and racially bound.