Perceptions of control, standards of beauty, body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors among Hispanic women

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Counseling Psychology

First Committee Member

Blaine J. Fowers - Committee Chair


Research on eating disorders and body dissatisfaction have focused primarily on White non-Hispanic women, and more research is need on minority populations. The purpose of the present study is to provide additional information on psychosocial and intrapsychic correlates of disordered eating behavior and body dissatisfaction, specifically, degree of acculturation to Hispanic culture, acceptance of Western standards of beauty, and perceived control in a sample of 274 Cuban and South American college women. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis revealed that body mass, endorsement of US societal values and concerning the importance of physical fitness in beauty were significantly related and accounted for significant and unique amounts of the variance in scores on measures assessing symptoms of bulimia, anorexia, and body dissatisfaction. Lower realistic control expectancies were significantly related to and accounted for a significant and unique amount of the variance in scores on a measure assessing bulimia symptoms. Income, age, acculturation to Hispanic norms, generational status and unrealistic control expectancies were unrelated to criterion variables. Suggestions for future research as well as implications for counseling are discussed.


Psychology, Behavioral; Women's Studies; Health Sciences, Public Health; Psychology, Clinical

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