Examination of the factors which differentiate dieters and non-dieters, both those satisfied, and those dissatisfied with their bodies (1997)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameMaster of Arts
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
This project set out to examine the factors which differentiate women who do and do not diet, and those who are and are not satisfied with their bodies, amongst a non-clinical sample of 56 women from in and around the Christchurch community. This project had three main aims: (i) to identify those factors which differentiate dissatisfied dieters from dissatisfied non-dieters, in an attempt to understand the link between body dissatisfaction (an affective state), and dieting (a behaviour); (ii) to identify those factors which underlie dieting in women who are satisfied with their body, and (iii) to identify those factors which differentiate non-dieting women who are satisfied with their body, from women who are either dissatisfied with their body, and/or diet. A number of differing factors were examined, most of which had been previously identified as being associated with body dissatisfaction, and/or dieting behaviour: age, depression, self-esteem, teasing, societal ideals, exercise, and weight preoccupation. Effects were found only for age, and for the internalization of societal norms. Women who were satisfied with their body were significantly older than women dissatisfied with their body, and dieters, were significantly older than non-dieters. Those women who were satisfied with their body were also less likely to internalize societal norms regarding the thin ideal. In order to test the specific aims of this project, Planned Comparisons were conducted between the dissatisfied dieters and the dissatisfied non-dieters, between the satisfied dieters and the dissatisfied dieters, and between the satisfied non-dieters and the other three participant groups. Significant effects were found for the internalization of societal norms, whereupon the satisfied non-dieters were significantly less likely to internalize societal norms regarding the thin ideal. The results are discussed in terms of the impact in which societal norms has on a women's behaviour.
KeywordsDieters--Psychology; Body image; Reducing diets--Psychological aspects; Eating disorders; Self-acceptance
RightsAll Rights Reserved
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