The Relationship Between Culture, Geographic Region, and Gender on Body Image: A Comparison of College Students in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest Regions of the United States
Department or Administrative Unit
Family and Consumer Sciences
Body image is a significant predictor of important psychological and physical outcomes. The current study sought to expand on previous research on cross-cultural differences in body image across countries by exploring differences in body image based on geographic region within the United States. A sample of 1,365 participants was recruited from universities in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest regions of the United States. Participants completed a survey that assessed their gender, geographic region, and body image. Women reported poorer body image than men, and young adults from the Southeast reported poorer body image than young adults from the Pacific Northwest. There were significant interaction effects for gender and geographic region with women from the Southeast reporting the poorest body image of any group. The authors suggest that sociocultural differences in standard of beauty in the Southeast as well as differences in dress related to climate may contribute to the findings.
Paulk, A., Dowd, D. A., Zayac, R., Eklund, A., & Kildare, C. (2014). The Relationship Between Culture, Geographic Region, and Gender on Body Image: A Comparison of College Students in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest Regions of the United States. Sociological Spectrum, 34(5), 442–452. https://doi.org/10.1080/02732173.2014.937653
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