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dc.contributor.advisorMcKirnan, David J.en_US
dc.contributor.authorAlvy, Lisa M.en_US
dc.date.accessioned2013-10-24T20:52:23Z
dc.date.available2013-10-24T20:52:23Z
dc.date.created2013-08en_US
dc.date.issued2013-10-24
dc.date.submitted2013-08en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10027/10244
dc.description.abstractBody image is an important component of women’s physical and mental health. Body dissatisfaction, a negative subjective evaluation of one’s body, has long been associated with disordered eating, obesity, depression, and low self-esteem. Body dissatisfaction is prevalent among women generally but may be less so among lesbian women as the result of a lower emphasis on physical appearance within lesbian culture, a greater valuing of larger body types among lesbian women, and lesbian women feeling less subject to male-defined standards. If so, understanding lesbian and heterosexual differences and lesbian-specific influences on body dissatisfaction could have important implications for body image research and women’s health efforts. Many studies that have explored lesbian and heterosexual differences in body dissatisfaction have suffered from methodological limitations and have not been theoretically based. Additionally, key variables known to influence other aspects of lesbian health, such as minority stress and sexual identity development, have not been well explored. I addressed both empirical and theoretical limitations of past research within a community sample of 879 lesbian and heterosexual women. I contrasted the two sexual identity groups on several widely used body dissatisfaction measures, controlling for clinician-collected data on BMI and key demographic covariates. As predicted, lesbian women reported significantly less body dissatisfaction than did heterosexual women on three of four measures. A structural equation model of proposed risk and protective factors for body dissatisfaction among lesbian women did not reveal significant relationships between these predictors and body dissatisfaction. This study represents a first attempt at modeling theoretically-derived, culturally-specific influences on lesbian women’s body image. Given demonstrated differences in lesbian and heterosexual women’s body dissatisfaction it is important to continue to explore body image among this sexual minority group. I discuss implications for future research.en_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.subjectbody dissatisfactionen_US
dc.subjectbody imageen_US
dc.subjectlesbian womenen_US
dc.subjectsexual orientationen_US
dc.subjectsociocultural factorsen_US
dc.subjectstructural equation modelingen_US
dc.titleContextualizing Lesbian Body Image: Comparisons with Heterosexual Women and Lesbian-Specific Factorsen_US
thesis.degree.departmentPsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplinePsychologyen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Illinois at Chicagoen_US
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.namePhD, Doctor of Philosophyen_US
dc.type.genrethesisen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberHughes, Tondaen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMackesy-Amiti, Mary Ellenen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberKassel, Jonen_US
dc.contributor.committeeMemberRiger, Stephanieen_US
dc.type.materialtexten_US


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