Body image in overweight and obese women: The influence of age, ethnicity, perceived attractiveness, and romantic partners




Goter, Brittany

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Research regarding women's body image has been limited by focusing on normal weight college-aged women. The purpose of this study was to examine how ethnicity, age, and perceived attractiveness impact overweight and obese women's body image within heterosexual romantic partnerships. Five hundred fifty-four women were recruited from social media groups and academic listservs. Participants completed an author-generated demographic questionnaire, the Body Image Disturbance Questionnaire (Cash, Phillips, Santos, & Hrabosky, 2004), and the Estimating Physical Attractiveness Scale (Swami, Furnham, Georgiades, & Pang, 2007; Swami, Waters, & Furnham, 2010) online. Women aged 35–44 reported significantly more body image concern than women aged 25–35. Additionally, women who perceived themselves as less attractive than their partners reported significantly more body image concern than women who perceived themselves as similarly or more attractive than their partners (R² = .113, β = -.013, p < .001). Implications for future research and practice are offered.



Social sciences, Psychology, Body image, Obesity, Perceived attractiveness, Romantic partners, Women